“When I retire” are words I often hear people say. That’s all they lived for, to reach retirement. But many don’t plan or prepare for it, it’s more of a wishful thinking. Others are not even sure if they want to, for fear of not knowing what they will do with all their free time..
Retirement is not the end, but a beginning of a different chapter of your life. It could be the best time of your life ever, or could just be the opposite for others. Being retired does not mean you stop working. The greatest reward and pleasure of being retired is you get busy doing things you love, not because you have to. Having a choice makes all the difference. You may find yourself busier than when you were working. Thinking you have time, you’ll take part, engage and do more things making life good, and worth living for. This is what retirement is all about.
A crucial part of retirement is planning. Make sure you’re equipped with interests, hobbies to enjoy your retirement. If you are the type who has many interests and hobbies, then you’ll have plenty to keep busy. You’ll anticipate with excitement all the free time you’ll have. If you belong to clubs, and socially active, you’ll be looking forward to spending more time with your friends. You’ll be pre-occupied pursuing new interests, do more travelling, learn new things, help out others, do volunteer work, fulfill items on your bucket list. Your options and possibilities are endless, and your biggest complaint will be, “I don’t have enough time”.
However, if you don’t have any interest, clues or plans how to savor your free time, you’re not ready to retire. Perhaps, it may not even be for you. You maybe better off working for as long as possible. You look forward to retiring, then suddenly there is nothing to do. Without engaging in enjoyable or rewarding activities, challenging task and social interaction you will become bored. Boredom may lead to sadness, and worst, depression which could affect your health down the line. It is not uncommon to hear a person dies soon after they retire. And I’ve heard other people say, “I do not want to retire for I may just die”. Thus, it’s VERY IMPORTANT to develop and pursue new hobby, interest, activity to keep you engaged and occupied before you actually retire. After all, one seek to retire to enjoy, have fun.
You MUST prepare and be ready for this chapter of your life. Can you financially meet your obligations with less income? You’ll be surprised you can live with less income by setting your priorities. By simplifying your life, and differentiating between your wants and needs, you would be able to drastically reduced your expenses. If you’ve save enough, invested wisely; your nest egg plus social security income would be enough to support and keep up your lifestyle. A retired person would have reduced expenses on clothing, gasoline, insurance cost, especially if you drop having multiple cars. On the other hand, you health related expenses may go up. You’ll have to budget more to cover costs of your hobbies, new interest, travels, etc. It is simply deciding what’s more important, what gives you joy and pleasure to enhance your happiness and quality of life. In the end, this will help you decide if retirement is for you and if you’re ready for it.
Lucky are those who love their job, they never have to work for the rest of their life! They are passionate about what they do, and very fortunate to get paid doing what they love to do. They may never retire. As for the rest of you, PLAN, BE READY, ENJOY the retirement you well deserved.