There are so many ways people engage during retirement. They may spend time with their grandchildren, work on another job, join clubs or organizations, volunteer, travel, or engage in a new hobby. What ideas do you think about now to make your retirement a meaningful experience?
What is your idea of retirement?
My husband is a few years older than I am, so we first contemplated retirement when he could already retire based on the magic 30, which in Canada means that you have worked in total for 30 years. He was only 53 then, but he had accumulated two years of a sabbatical from his job, so at 53, he could retire. Before this happened, we would have long walks in Siesta Key beach each time we bring his mother for her annual trip there and then pick her up again. Add to that the Christmas visit.
On those walks, we tried to visualize how we picture retirement to be.
My husband and I came from two different backgrounds.
His parents emigrated from Europe with their experience of depression but reached higher levels in their chosen profession. My parents were entrepreneurs and started their business after WWII. Not one of my parents earned regular pay. They made their own money by engaging in various business ventures until they found one they could grow. However, I came from a life in the convents where we gave everything, thinking nothing of pay. On the other hand, my husband worked in jobs to earn money for his organization.
We worked out what we’re comfortable with from these backgrounds.
We settled on retiring but still working as we were still young.
My husband, who felt it was his responsibility to provide for our family, negotiated a two-year consultancy with his organization. I registered a consulting company as I had already worked as a consultant, but given that there are now the two of us, it was better to form a company. So, in 1997, we started. I haven’t created a company before. I know which office to bring the forms which I downloaded online. I brought with me a book thinking that I have to wait forever to get my papers back. To my surprise, it only took five minutes that I haven’t opened my book at all.
What am I trying to get at?
Here it is.
When you have decided on a course of action, act on it. Don’t procrastinate or learn everything there is before starting. You will learn in the process. The actual doing of it is more of a learning experience. Just do it. So, for Seniors who are thinking of a second career, there is so much you can do. Identify the expertise you have and get to work. How can you use this expertise once you retire? Do you want to get a new job? Or, do you want to do something else? Perhaps, a hobby you have always wanted to do given the time. Or something you plan to learn once you have the time to do it. This is why you retired in the first place.
You want to move on.
Retirement is the time to create a different life for yourself.
For 30 years or more, your identity has been your job. How do you see yourself now? An avid golfer or tennis player? A comedian? A gardener? A speaker? A teacher? A writer? A painter? What will it be for you?
Exciting, isn’t it?
Give yourself time.
Listen to your inner desires. We have friends who couldn’t wait to retire so they could play golf all day. After a year of that, they started looking for something more meaningful. In their words, they said, “how many golf games can you really play?”
So, listen to yourself.
Listening to one’s self is not difficult. Sit and listen more to your heart as most of us lived in our minds when we worked. Think of the time you enjoyed yourself very much. What was the event? What was in the activity that made you happy?
Retirement is a time to try out and engage in activities you have enjoyed in your life and the new things you want to do. As things unfold, you will discover what it is that truly makes you happy. You have time to do this now, and there is nothing much to lose. Make your retirement a fascinating experience.