The “Desire-ment” years—Redefining Retirement pt 1
To many, retirement means getting put out to pasture to live the rest of your days in peace. This isn’t surprising, as the word “retire” can have negative connotations, like when it pertains to retiring a piece of equipment because it’s old and no longer useful. And we can sometimes think of people this way too. Yikes! I think we need to redefine it, since this doesn’t seem to be what retirement means to most people today.
Personally, I think we should call it “desirement,” because it should be about getting to do the things you really want to do. And for most of us that simply doesn’t mean endless rounds of golf, gardening, or doing any particular thing all day, every day. How boring would that be?
Designing your day
To get a true idea of what your days will look like, consider:
Will you still work? If so, will you stay in your career or try a new job (see the next installment)? Take some time to imagine how you might feel if you were not doing your current career anymore. How tied to your career is your identity? Will you be happy if you are not doing that job anymore? It’s important to consider these things to help ensure you will truly be happy in retirement.
Now, if you will be going from full-time work to part-time, or to not working at all, consider how you will spend the rest of your time each day. If you dream of gardening, horseback riding, knitting, reading or other things, try to be realistic about how much time you will truly want to spend doing these things each day. It may not be as much as you think, so you will want to consider what else you will do each day.
If you plan to volunteer, consider which groups you will want to volunteer with and how much time you plan to volunteer each week or month.
Will you work out? If you worked out near your place of business, will you still go to that gym or will you need to find a new one? In fact, if you do a lot of things near your job, like shopping, socializing and more, you may want to think about where you will do things once you retire. You may no longer be willing to commute to do these things. And, if there are no facilities near you, or if you feel your home will be too remote once you retire, you may want to consider moving.
Another thing to consider is who you will socialize with. Where do your friends and family live? Are they close to you or far away? If you are going to be home more, perhaps you want to consider a community that is designed to be more social.
If it seems overwhelming to think about, a great way to gain support is to find a lean-in circle, as these groups are designed to help women encourage and support each other, rather than compete. Inspired by the book, Lean In, written by Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg, they:
- Are often small groups of 8-12 members at a similar stage in life or with shared goals
- Meet monthly in informal settings to learn together and share information and experiences
- Have been highly successful at helping women take the next steps in their lives
You can learn more at leanin.org.
Gasber Financial can help you not only to define and envision the retirement of your dreams, but also to help ensure that your finances stay on track so you can make your dreams a reality.