Seven Ways to Make Retirement Seem Easy

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!

Lynn

Photo credit: Austin Schmid ~ Unsplash

18 thoughts on “Seven Ways to Make Retirement Seem Easy

  1. dconnollyislandgmailcom

    Great advice, Lynn. My understanding is that retirement, and its ‘stages’, affect different people quite differently, even though they have both prepared and live/share similar lives. So far (knock on computer keyboard) my 10-months of retirement have gone very smoothly. Despite having similar life experiences, and many shared-values, initial retirement for my husband has been much more of a struggle. When I discussed this in one of my posts, another blogger that I follow (https://retiredblokes.wordpress.com) suggested that men and women adapt to initial retirement quite differently. Not sure what others think about this potential gender difference.
    Donna
    http://www.retirementreflections.com

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    1. Encore Voyage Post author

      Oh Donna, I think you may be on to something there. I don’t think that Jeremy has actually “retired” ~ just changed the nature of his work. I think if he tried to stop working, I’d see a MUCH different reaction from him! Especially since men don’t typically have the extensive support system of friends that most women have!

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  2. dkmcl2

    Great post, Lynn! Almost seven years now and lovin’ every minute of it! And I lovelovelove my La-Z-Boy!! Just have to get out of it more! And I am….. Dave 🙂

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  3. Retirementallychallenged.com

    Great post! Attitude is key… if by nature, you tend to see barriers in front of you, or find excuses easier to come up with than solutions, retirement could be hard, or, at least, disappointing. I consider myself a pregmatic optimist – I mix a positive attitude with a good dose of realism. Magical thinking can be as detrimental to a successful retirement as ingrained negativity. Your list of ways to have a good outcome are right on!

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  4. vanbytheriver

    All such good points here, Lynn, and I do think there is a gender difference. I retired at 58, had a lot of time to adjust before hubby joined me at 64. I kept connections to friends and former co-workers, he did not. He finds plenty of ways to keep busy, but he in some ways has found a way to make just about anything “work”. Even his hobbies are taken very seriously. That could wane, it’s only been a year for him. ☺

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  5. mommermom

    I didn’t really get that idea of how difficult retirement could be… Yes, working out the finances could be a little more challenging but surprisingly you can do without some things and realizing you pretty much have everything you need anyway. I’ve spent the last couple of years, growing, changing, and even reinventing myself from time to time. I was given some great advice, “do what you love”! With that piece of advice I dropped some of the things that weren’t working for me and now I am willing and more open to trying new things to find what does work. Never a dull moment- it’s life In motion!

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  6. MrFireStation

    Great post – certainly something on my mind recently! I appreciate the positivity that flows thru all of your “seven ways”. Many of us FI bloggers are uber planners and get caught up too much in the chase!

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  7. patwdoyle11

    I have seen both sides…the disenchantment and the still-a-honeymoon sense of wonderment & freedom. So I guess I know both can occur. Luckily, I have seen more of the wonderment & freedom! And, I’m personally following those folks as role models.

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  8. our next life

    I love how you phrased all of these — thanks for the laughs. 🙂 Speaking of laughs, your point about a sense of humor is a good one for ALL phases of life. I travel almost constantly for work, and find that SO many people do not keep a sense of humor about the headaches about travel, and I think it just adds unnecessary frustration, since it’s not like you can do anything about flight delays or missed connections. When I decided to keep a sense of humor about it all, my traveling life really got so much better! And purpose — YES! We possibly think too much about that, but better than thinking too little about it. 🙂

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  9. Michele

    I keep waiting for the shoe to drop and to realize that we are going to be in financial trouble and that I retired before I had a clue about what I was doing, but so far it has been fine! Actually, I didn’t even plan to retire at 55, it just happened when we moved and now I am loving new opportunities. Strangely enough, we seem to have more money now than we did when i was working full time!

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    1. Encore Voyage Post author

      Isn’t that amazing! Basically the same thing that happened to us. And then you realize how much you save by having some time to do things yourself, not buy “work clothes”, eat at home more because you have time to shop and cook, and the whole deal becomes much more simplified – and perfect! Happy for you, Michele!

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