You work all your life and dream of the day you will retire. You envision living life like never before, but there is a chance that you will not be as happy and content in retirement as you think. Sometimes the reality of retirement turns out to be a big disappointment in spite of your careful planning. Perhaps you believed that having a large bank account was the key to a happy retirement, but wealth does not necessarily guarantee happiness.
Many people think that living near friends, having many interesting available activities and living the lifestyle they always dreamed about will be enough to ensure a happy retirement. What some do not understand is that there is more to achieving satisfaction in retirement than simply being comfortable financially. Depression is a risk if your life has no purpose or direction.
Many retirees cease to grow as an individual and lose interest in life after leaving the workplace. The freedom they anticipated does not give them the feelings of self-worth that is so important in achieving contentment and happiness. You must stay intellectually challenged and actively involved in creative endeavors to find a sense of satisfaction in retirement. It is much too easy to fall into a pattern of watching too much television, taking too many naps and isolating yourself from others if you feel your life has no direction or meaning. You are in charge of your own destiny. Plan to look forward to tomorrow.
Ignite your creativity by writing your life story or learning how to do oil painting. Now is the time to explore those unfulfilled dreams and desires. Go to the local library and begin a genealogy project or learn how to play a musical instrument. Volunteer to read to children or make a difference by delivering meals to homebound seniors.
Plan to stay as active as possible. Pay special attention to your physical health by getting enough exercise every day. Retirement affords you the opportunity to get out and enjoy the outdoors as much as you like. One of the best ways to get the exercise you need to maintain good health is to plan to walk every day. A healthy body and mind make for a happier retirement.
Make a plan for your leisure time before you decide to retire. Compile a list of all the places you want to visit and the activities you want to pursue. Research travel destinations, enroll in college classes or take non-credit classes in writing or art. Pledge to yourself to become a lifelong learner and your life will never lack direction or purpose. Make the best retirement plan possible for YOU.
Although retirement is a ways off for me yet, I do think about what it will look like quite often. I want to make sure I have a plan in place for when I cross this bridge so that I stay happy, content, and stimulated. If all goes according to plan my hubby and I will be traveling the world and volunteering where there is need and each of these trips will be photo documented since I love taking pictures. This is the goal anyways.
So, have you thought about how you want to retire? What kind of things do you plan on doing? Please share.
I don’t know that I will ever retire in the traditional sense. I certainly want to be active. I think I will always be pursuing multiple interests, which is consistent with who I am today.
Realistically, I will be similar to you. I have many interests and don’t see myself ever not being active. What I do see is that everything I will be doing will be by choice and not because I have to. Right now I have to get up to go to work every day. It is not because I want to.
Our goal is to have a cabin near water. I plan on fishing, playing golf with friends, enjoying walks with my wife, sitting on my front porch and watching the water, blogging of course, and visiting my children and grandchildren. That is just for starters!
You are speaking my language Paul. That sounds similar to some of the things I want too. For me I know I really want to travel. We do a fair bit now but I want to be able to keep it up when I retire. I just love seeing other parts of the world.
My dad is getting ready to retire, and we’re all telling him to get a hobby NOW.
Hobbies are a great way to keep busy and stimulated. My issue is I have too many. There are just so many things that I am interested in. Hopefully your Dad finds some passions.
When I retire, I want to go visit all the beautiful places around the world especially the islands in the Caribeans…I really want to go back there.
Me too. I might see you on the plane. I love to travel. There are so many neat things to see and do. Plus you get to meet some pretty amazing people.
I don’t know that I have specific plans but will not be sitting around. I will be mentally and physically active. I would like to retire at a young enough age to be able to enjoy more. That involves needing to get out of debt and then bridge the income gap from that point until 70 years old. Right now, debt is what I am focusing on.
Sounds like you have a plan in place which is great. I too want to retire young enough where I have the energy and physical health to do stuff.
I am 5.5 years away. I am planning now for what I want to do in retirement. In fact, I already started some of the things I will do in retirement. I started a blog a year ago, I will start volunteering next year and I will travel more.
5.5 years away.. man I’m jealous :-(. What type of volunteering will you do?
I’m jealous too.
Wow, you are getting close. Nice!!
I like your approach of starting early and planning. That is great. If you get things in motion now it will be a much easier transition. Smart thinking.
I think retiring “to” something and not just “from a job” is the key. I think people who just are trying to escape the current work environment are in for a scary retirement when they have no goals and no motivation to wake up anymore. Great piece.
I agree. I have actually met people like this and interestingly they are no more happier retired than they were when they were working. It is a sad state really. I definitely have a vision of what my retirement will look like and the things I want to accomplish.
I hope to re-define retirement by “retiring” at age 27 or earlier. I hope to be able to replace my income with online efforts and be able to manage all of these with only 3 days of work a week.
You would redefine retirement at 27. That is an ambitious goal but I am rooting for you. I won’t be able to yet. I am in my late 20’s and retirement is still a ways off.
I guess it all depends on what you define retirement as. I define it as not having to work if I don’t want to and being free to have fun most of the time. Since we want to raise a family still, we need to build up some more funds before this is possible.
I feel for the Boomers who recently retired, or planned to, only to see their nest eggs disintegrate ….
Sucks doesn’t it. I swear my parents are going through this. They haven’t retired yet but they are close and this has given them a bit of added stress. Financially they are fine just not quite as fine as they thought they would be. They run a family business and business has been slow this year.
Not all of we retired boomers are in that boat!!!
Good to hear Marie. I am glad you have planned enough in advance to avoid this mess.
Yikes, I just do not want to lose my marbles :). I have so many hobbies and interests I’m not worried about retirement.
LOL. Yes that is important too for sure. Retiring with all marbles in tact would be great. Glad to hear you have a lot of interests that will keep you busy.
I hope I ease into retirement at a young age (the goal is 45). I see myself taking contract work or part-time work to fund extended time off. Basically to supplement passive sources of income. I plan on doing a lot of volunteer work since I have seen retirees give so much in the small communities I have lived in.
Sounds like a similar path to what I am thinking. I currently already do some volunteer work but I do want to ramp it up down the road. And since I like mental stimulation I can still see myself working part time at something.
I’m retired (high fives!!). What I am seeing from myself and my other retired friends is that you don’t chanage into a different person with different habits and lifestyles. If you are a person who tries new things and loves to travel, you will still be that person when you retire. If you are a person who watches tv all the time, you may still be that person when you retire.
Good point. I guess the only change would be in most cases is that you would have more time to explore more ways to spend your time. You might develop some new interests along the way but in most cases you will probably just spend more time doing what you like to do.
Thank you for writing this. Recently I have been thinking that I would like to creat the conditions to be able to retire in five to seven years time. My husband and I have a bit of age gap and I would like to be able to spend time with him. He, on the other hand has firmly stated that he will never retire – that he works for himself probably has something to do with it. Retire net or not I can’t see myself stopping – it is just that I will have the space to write the novel that has been trying to come out for a long time.
Retirement doesn’t mean an end to working. If you want to keep working, you can. The nice thing about retirement is that you have a choice. You are no longer bound to the constraints of having to work. Everything is an option not an obligation.
Great message! Like many critical things, having a plan set before the event occurs will pay off big in the long run. With no places to see and things to learn, the extra free time will seem like torture. At that point, you might want to lose your marbles! 🙂
Well said Buck. Yes we don’t want to lose our marbles do we. I will definitely have a long list of things I want to do. No concerns of worrying about having nothing to do for me.
I agree. Retire from work, not from life. Thanks for your submission to The Wealth Builder Carnival.
Thanks for hosting. I love that line hey- retire from work not life. That is so important to remember. Since many people have poorly planned for retirement, they are stuck just living and not really enjoying life. It is really sad.