Greetings! I trust that this will find you well and enjoying life.
What separates a great retirement from a good retirement? Often I observe in retirees that more than anything it’s a state of mind. Here are several ways to view life that when embraced, can do much to enrich your golden years.
Add value to your environment and those around you. We’re all meant to be productive and experience gratification and we live it out in our jobs during our working years. Retirement doesn’t eliminate these core human needs. Find a way to create value in your new world that doesn’t involve the demands placed on you in your working years.
Develop meaningful relationships. We are social creatures and social interaction is a critical element for happiness in life. Enriched retirees are always looking for ways to expand their social network and engage with friends and family.
Live actively not passively and say yes often. Try new experiences close by, get creative and think outside of the box. For example, travel to places within a hundred miles that you’ve never explored before. Visit Avery Island or the French Quarter Festival, it’s great and free! Or take an overnighter and check out Memphis. Attend a high school play or a regional sporting event playoff. They’re low cost and will bring you back to your youth. NOCA’s performances in New Orleans are fantastic.
Retire based on your savings preparedness, not your social security eligibility age. Retirement is about financial independence and money is the foundation of financial independence. Make sure you crunch the numbers well in advance before you retire to see when you can actually afford to retire.
Retire to something not from something. A healthy retiree’s perspective involves going to something you love not away from something you dislike. Take the time and effort to deprogram negative emotions about work before moving into retirement. It’ll make a big difference in your new life.
Live under the gun to live. In other words live deliberately and with a sense of urgency. The average life expectancy in the US for a female is eighty two and for a male is eighty. If you retire at sixty five and live an average life span, that means you have between ten and fifteen good years to fulfill the dreams of the last forty. So get a move on, live with purpose and be deliberate in your passion for retirement.
Practice good health. You can’t make a better investment in future happiness and peace of mind. Choose something new each year that’s healthy and add it to your regimen.
Thoreau is quoted as saying when I came to die I discovered I had not lived. It’s now or never friends. Get busy and get life!
Jeff Christian CFP, CRPC