For many, retirement is the holy grail of life- right up there with meeting the love of your life, the joy of children and grandchildren, or anything else that took a long time to achieve and years of stick-to-itiveness. We’ve helped and walked with hundreds of people into that sacred space: many of which found once there, it was not what they expected. Not unlike planning a vacation, sometimes getting there is not as much fun and mysterious as the planning. Some love it, getting involved in new hobbies and interests. Some are intertwined with caring for an aging parent or boomerang children, and then some find that they are downright bored…the thrill is gone. The question for those becomes a quest to find the next thing in their lives to take up the time formerly filled with the structure of their old job. Are you or someone you know in this category?
The main question for some is “what am I going to do with all that time?” From our experience, the answer is a resounding “whatever you want!” While that may sound simplified, the actuality of it is that it’s true: for the first time, you now have the ability to do what you want, where you want, when you want. You can get up early and watch the sunrise, or sleep as late as you please. You can finally do all those nagging house chores you have been meaning to do for more years than you can remember, or not. Most people claim that once retired, they find themselves busier than when they were working. Many become loving sitters and transportation for their grandchildren, and others volunteer their time in various venues doing and being involved in things they never had the time for while working. Travel is big- many plan trips and vacations (Note from working person: do you technically have a vacation if you’re retired? Isn’t life one big vacation? I’ll find out eventually…) to places they always wanted to see and visit but didn’t have the time to do so.
My point is, after walking along with so many folks in this situation, is to take your time and plan your future. Retirement extends (hopefully) far past the first 6 months after you stop working- you have to think as far. It’s more a matter of “what am I going to do now” than “hooray- I’m retired!” Planning for what you are going to do IN retirement is every bit as important as planning FOR retirement... just make sure it includes fun each and every day!