Retirement Happiness – Independence in Retirement

RH Weekly Cover

Volume 4 – Independence in Retirement

Most people, perhaps all people, seek a high level of Independence in their Retirement. This Series discusses the main elements of an independent life in retirement.

Issue #4 – Thinking

There is no doubt that Independence of Thinking is the most sought after attribute of our retirement lifestyles…. yet is the most difficult to achieve.

“I’m just going to do what I want, go where I want and think about stuff that pleases me” .. how many times have you heard someone in retirement say something like that..? You may even have said it yourself.

It is a noble goal. No question about that. But life isn’t like that unfortunately.

The influence of others gets stronger and stronger as we grow old. Maybe some of these “advisors” think we can’t think for ourselves and that our brains are getting muffled as get older. Rubbish.

Probably the worst offenders are our own family. “Trust me, I know what’s best for you mum”.

“Eh, I don’t think so kiddo. A day may come when I WILL need someone to think for me, but today ain’t the day.”

The other phrase you hear is, “He’s so set in his ways that he can’t be spoken to.”

Isn’t that simply the enactment of independent thinking?

One of the biggest challenges in retirement lifestyle is working out exactly what you want to do in retirement. After decades of working in a structured work environment where, by and large, the thinking was either done for you, or you had the benefit of input from others around you. But now, you have no-one to ask.

For years you’ve probably been saying that when you retire you will have the freedom to think for yourself and do what you want. Well, the time has come. And it can easily be a time of turbulence. It isn’t that easy to work it all out alone.

Part of the problem is that the determination, stubbornness if you will, that you “Can do It” niggles away at you because it is more difficult than you thoughts it would be. That’s fine … but the confession so to speak (albeit just to yourself) that you aren’t doing as well as you’d hoped, can be a traumatic situation for many people.

Rest easy……. You are NOT alone. We are ALL going through the same turbulence.

You will always be under the influence of other people, be that family, or friends, or service providers, or medical advisors, or countless others. It’s just part of life. If you chose to ignore all of the words of assistance from others then so be it, but maybe they’ve got it right, so beware.

Probably the best we can achieve is (without making this an arithmetic discussion), doing your own thing for approximately 50% of your awake-time. The number is irrelevant. The point is that if you can think for yourself and follow it through for a good chunk of your day, then you’ll be well ahead of the game. You will. Just don’t feel bad if you are well short of 100%.

These are just some considerations you may have about being an Independent Thinker, and remember, your need for Independence can be reasonably expected to last for the rest of your life. You will have plenty opportunities to have your own thinking time, or at least mull over the input from others and work out what really is best for you. So give long-term thought to what is best for you taking all issues into consideration.

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