Arriving at the doorstep of retirement with all of your marbles intact is an achievement worthy of praise. You have survived a career that even if stimulating has likely taken its toll over the years. Your children are hopefully approaching independent status, your mortgage if not entirely gone is ideally in good shape, and you have built a sufficient nest egg to subsidize the retired lifestyle you hope to enjoy.
As you evolve into your second act, you have the opportunity to experience the best of what life has to offer. Assuming you can cope with the challenges that come with aging and as long as you manage to live within the constraints of a budget by being a bit frugal your future can be bright for many years to come.
Why should retirement be the best time of your life?
You don’t have to act your age
The other day my wife and I were walking past a little restaurant when we heard a Mariachi band playing an energetic number for those dining in the patio. Without thinking twice, I put my arm around my favorite partner and we did a little dance right there on the curb. I noticed some smiles on the face of passerby’s and most importantly on the face of my wife.
We do not have to act according to any set of rules for what is “right for our age”. What is right for our age is what we choose to do! There is nothing wrong with acting on the spur of the moment. Why pass up a chance to enjoy the freedom we have painstakingly earned? Why attempt to bridle the energy we feel inside? Our new motto should be “if it feels good, do it” (so long as we do not hurt ourselves or others in the process). I plan to act the age I feel rather than my chronological age. And sometimes I feel like a little kid.
You don’t have to wait for the weekend to have fun
Get ready to experience the wonder of weekdays, when the crowds are non-existent, hotels are affordable, and traffic is generally at a tolerable level. Say goodbye to long weeks spent dreaming of those sacred, oh-so-short two days off when you hope to catch your breath and recharge. Your weekend is now seven days long so no need to wait to enjoy.
Once you get the hang of retirement, you may find yourself trading the old two-day weekend for a five-day weekend, actively pursuing life Monday through Friday when things are calm and less busy. Then retiring closer to home during the frantic Saturday and Sunday when the working masses try to cram all they can into 48 short hours of freedom. Does a five-day weekend sound better than a two-day weekend? Welcome to retirement!
You don’t have to waste time doing what you do not want to
More than any one thing, I believe the freedom to do what you want is a highlight of life in retirement. You decide what and when and how long you will do whatever you wish. If you don’t want to do it then don’t. Retired from the burdens and restrictions that come with making a living, you can now spend your time pursuing what really interests you. Don’t waste one precious moment.
You don’t have to heed what others tell you
“You need to drop everything and get that project done right now!” words perhaps familiar to you from your working days. When the boss spoke, you jumped. However as a retiree, there is only one boss you must heed and that is you. This is your chance to put to use all the wisdom and experience you have accumulated over a lifetime. Decisions made can actually reflect what you know is right for you. Of course there will always be those forever free with advice and recommendations on how you “should” live your life. And there is nothing wrong with listening. As long as you remember the ultimate decision is in your hands and act according to your personal values and wishes, you are good to go.
You can learn/study/read what really interests you
How much fun would it be to take a class in a subject you love without worrying about a grade at the end? Imagine learning simply for the pleasure of learning. No pressure, no sweat, and at a pace that suits your new lifestyle. Best of all, should your course of study become boring, you can walk away guilt free and move on to the next topic. Whether you enjoy the classroom setting interacting with fellow students or prefer the privacy of your own home attending a virtual session, you are free to explore to your heart’s content.
Get ready for an inspiring exciting second act doing what you want with your time and energy.
Retirement is only the beginning…