By Bill Storie
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 #10 – Choice
Well, this is the last in this Series on Independence. It really has been fun writing it and I am grateful to so many of you who have taken the time to comment and offer your own thoughts and feelings.
We’ve touched on every day issues and some of the more sensitive ones. One lady wrote to me and thanked me for opening up the issue of Estate Planning and having the “courage” (her word) to discuss it openly. I don’t know her personal circumstances but I get the feeling that it touched a tricky subject for her. I hope I helped.
So to wrap up the Series, I decided to call this one “Choice”.
In other words, you can’t have Independence if you don’t have the ability to make up your own mind about things. It is very difficult for many people to identify their choices and then follow them through. There are so many influences in life, from family, or friends, or organisations we deal with, or regulations we have to live with, and so forth.
Much as though most of us say, “I’m retired now and it’s my time to do as I please”, the reality is that we tend to bend and twist and in many cases yield to others. We’re not at fault for doing that, but we are really cutting ourselves up by defiantly stating that OUR decisions and likes etc will be the way forward, then flip-flopping completely. It’s natural. Perfectly natural.
What we must not do, or at least should not do, is to postpone or delay specific things that we really have looked forward to for years. Some people call it the “Bucket List”. It’s not one of my favourite phrases I admit, but if it conveys the point so be it.
If there is a place we want to see, or a concert we want to go to, or a sports game we want to see, we should make every effort to do it. “No time like the present” they say. They’re right. Time moves along and we are not getting any younger, so if a little bit of exertion is needed, then get cracking.
Choice is actually a quite difficult concept to fully grasp. If it involved one simple, straightforward decision then it would be easy. However, invariably, there are compensating issues to address usually. If the concert is say, the last week in November but your granddaughter’s birthday is that week too, then “no decision to be made” you say, but that concert may never come back there ever again. Dilemma. Not easy.
It would be easy for me to say, “Hey, this is your time in life and you must do what you decide. It’s your decision, It’s your choice. Let others work around your choice.” Easy. Yeah right.
So maybe it’s best to accept that to the best of your abilities and finances you will do this or that, but that you will take into account the options and make the best choice you can in the circumstances. There’s no golden rule to this.
Well, maybe there is …. maybe the golden rule really is to please yourself …. but to ensure that you can sleep at night with your choice, positively or negatively. Try not to let others criticise your choice. Stand up.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this Series as much as I have writing it. We must do this more often !!!!
Indepedence Rules !!!!!!!!!!!!