Retirement – What will you learn next?

A few days ago, “Sparky” over at Mr. Fire Station posted a list of the five stages of retirement.  In the third stage, the Bloomberg graphic claims that you need to be prepared for the boredom which will inevitably set in.  I voiced my opinion in my comment on his blog, and I will say it again now…

That’s bull pucky!

We live in a great big, vast world in which you have learned exactly 0% of all of the things out there to be discovered!  Even the inside of your own mind is endless!  (I admit, I read that somewhere!)  But it’s so true!  Anything that even remotely peaks your interest is yours for the taking, and in this Encore Voyage, you have nothing if not time to pursue those interests.

For me, I have found that each time I decide I want to learn something new, it keeps leading me to the next thing, and I can’t decide what I should try next!  In fact, I keep finding that I don’t have enough time to tackle all the things I want to try!  That age old expression, “When did I find time to work?” is certainly true!

What do you want to learn today-

Take, for example, my saxophone.  A few years back, commented that I wanted to play a second, more portable musical instrument.  I already play the piano, but it’s a little difficult to pack up and take to a party!  My piano teacher advised me that I have the “attitude of an alto sax player” whatever that’s supposed to mean, and now I’m the proud owner of a beautiful alto sax.  I’m committed to one day playing that sucker!  Right now, I’m at the “squawking like I’m calling geese” stage, but I will improve with practice and time.

The point is, in retirement, especially in this internet age, you can learn to do pretty much anything you put your mind to…So I ask youWhat will you donow that you're donedoing what you did-Instead of sitting around being bored and waiting for the next stage to arrive, how about you ask yourself some questions:

What’s next?

What are my goals?

What do I want to learn, do, or be?

Is there anything that I’ve always wanted to try?

Where do I see myself in the next 10 years?

Because, my friend, if you don’t pay attention, you will let your retirement years slip away. You will sleep in, watch TV, play computer games, go out to lunch with friends, play golf, babysit those grand kids, and before you know it, a couple of decades will have passed, and I don’t want you to get to the end of it asking, “Is that it???”  Because the only path to a rich, rewarding and vigorous retirement requires some soul searching, self-reflection, and learning new things!

Lynn

30 thoughts on “Retirement – What will you learn next?

  1. Retirementallychallenged.com

    I had the exact same reaction to the “boredom” stage. If you are bored in retirement, you are doing something wrong! (Of course, that’s assuming you don’t have physical or mental issues that preclude movement… but even then.) I just finished going over the new Oasis Learning catalog and picking out classes I want to take… the ones that won’t interfere with our travel and other plans, that is. There is so much to do – many that won’t cost a dime. And, if you do get bored or depressed – volunteer! Have fun learning to play the sax!

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  2. mommermom

    Oh, Lynn. You couldn’t have said it better. After a little over two years I do not find retirement boring at all. I have learned this to be a journey and a period of self-exploration. I am a reevaluating my self and my goals all the time. Some days I’m more successful than others but bored… never! My second year was much different than my first and I’m finding year three to be different also. One thing hasn’t changed… it’s absolutely wonderful being retired. I don’t watch much TV nor do I sleep in- but it’s nice to know I could if I wanted to. I wouldn’t want to waste a day of my retirement! Have fun on your musical Journey!!

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    1. Encore Voyage Post author

      Isn’t it weird how we start getting up earlier because there is so much to make of the day?! Couldn’t have imagined doing that on weekends while I was working! Now I’m (eh..hem..) enjoying the sunrise! Who knew THAT could happen!

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    1. Encore Voyage Post author

      Oh, Dave…I hope I didn’t sound too “lecturey” (that’s an adjective.) I think it must be my “teacher” coming out! Always telling people what to do…it’s just that they used to be under the age of 12!

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  3. dkmcl2

    Very good post, Lynn! I hope you learn or enjoy learning how to play the sax! I started classical guitar lessons 4 years ago. May never be a virtuoso (for sure :\ ) but I’m enjoying the process with a very patient music instructor. Way to go Lynn!! xx Dave 🙂

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    1. Encore Voyage Post author

      I am enjoying the sax…I call it “sax therapy!” LOL I’m hoping that my piano will be my “classical” instrument, and the sax can be my “jazz” instrument. But right now I’m a looooonnnnnggggg way from jazz! 😉

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  4. facetfully

    I like tbis, Lynn…and needed it. Not that I need thereminder, because we talk that we can do anything at our house. I just needed the shake (lecture). Now, can you write a post about choosing? I don’t want to miss anything!

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  5. patwdoyle11

    I had a similar reaction to the bored and depressed component. But it is one I have seen in other reviews about retirement. Your last line really captures it….being “not bored” requires self-reflection and trying new things. Those who do (plan, try, do) are not going to be bored. Those who don’t (plan, try, do) will be – bored, depressed, not very happy with and not fun to be around. For me, just bought 2 courses from The Great Courses (80% sale day!!) – trying this new way of learning. One is on Cognition, one on Astronomy. Wonder what those topics say about me?!

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  6. ambertreeleaves

    Great approach. I would say it does not only apply to retirement, also to a free day, a weekend, a bank holiday, an evening while babysitting the kids.
    Learning new things, reading books, there are that many things out there.

    On the other hand, I am a restless person, I also fear that one day after FI, I will feel bored. Then, it copes down to get goals you want to reach. As for me, it is FI and so much RE, These goals can be anything, even a work of any kind challenge

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  7. Sartenada

    My wife and I decided to learn a new language – Portuguese. Two winter courses, once a week and that it is. Learning a new things like a new language, keeps our brains fresh and active.

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