Lately, it seems that many retirement blogs and websites have been issuing warnings about how difficult it can be to retire. They warn of the dangers that lurk right behind the euphoria of new found freedom. Tales of depression setting in, boredom developing, and my personal favorite, “disenchantment” – that realization that freedom from employment ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. There seem to be endless lists about the things that make retirement hard…
How about, for a change, we examine those elements that, with just a little planning,
Make Retirement Easy
Understanding “enough” – When we first started the Encore Voyage, we were in a state of mild panic. Oh my God, we have no steady income stream…Until my little sister wisely asked, “How much do you really need, anyway?” And it started our examination of exactly “How Much is Enough?” Not in a financial planning sort of way, but in a philosophical, examine your life and decide what is really important, and think about what you really need to be happy. Hopefully, you can make the cash and the needs match up.
Minding your people – I would agree that retirement could get lonely if you don’t pay attention to your tribe. It could be family, current friends, or new friends to be made. The point is that relationships matter, and because the work environment no longer automatically forces us into talking with other humans, we must be diligent in nurturing our relationships with intentionality.
Embracing funny – There are lots of things about retirement, heck – in the world in general – that if we didn’t laugh about them, we would cry! If you can laugh about your colonoscopy, you can laugh about most things. And as we age, you simply must try to see the humor in the journey, or you’ll find yourself yelling, “Get off my lawn!”
Pursuing your passion – Retirement is nothing if not a Huge Opportunity to take the time to enjoy all of the interests, hobbies, and activities that always got pushed out of the picture during our working careers! It is worrisome if you don’t have any, or if you don’t know what they are – the world is your oyster. If you are bored, you just haven’t examined all of the possibilities.
Having a purpose – It could be a working for a charity. It might be involvement in your church. Perhaps it is volunteering in some way in the community (Eh-hem…former teacher here ~ have you checked out your local school for volunteering opportunities?) For that matter, like us, it could be an “Encore Career” – doing something important (maybe even your dream job.) Retirement is made more sweet by having a good reason to get out of bed in the morning.
Cuddling the globe – OK, I will admit, I have blatantly stolen that phrase from a lovely travel blog that you can find here. Exploration and travel, even if you never leave your own community, open your mind and your senses to all that exists in this big, wide, wonderful world.
Fighting the flabby – Not that I would ever think that you can stop the aging process, but there are lots of things you can do to stay as fit and mobile as possible. I know it’s not always easy, but we need to get off the couch and move in order to make the most of our retirement years.
I have had so many people tell me that “Not everyone could do what you and Jeremy do.” They imply that this voyage is, for some reason, very difficult. I guess I’m just a “glass half-full” sort of gal, because I think this retirement gig is really pretty simple!