This past month there has been a lot of talk in the media regarding the cost and the quality of retirement life for seniors and it got me thinking about what the arrival of retirement life is really like.
The one thing that I have realized is there are actually more options out there than one might imagine but most people would rather stubbornly assume that they will live out their days in the home they have occupied for forty years rather than face the stress of admitting that they would be better off making some changes.
Having moved country three times in my life so far, I can tell you – moving is hard. But I would also submit that staying in a circumstance that no longer suits your needs or your budget is worse.
Yes it is hard to yank yourself out of familiar surroundings and a lifetime of trinkets and move somewhere else, but why do we let sentiment stop us? After all, our memories and sense of attachment to a place are all in our head – we can take them with us where ever we want.
Why don’t we see the second half of our lives as an adventure; an opportunity to take everything that we have learned in the first half and make a new and happier life?
Could it be that we are letting a fear of the unknown convince us that nowhere could ever be better than where we are at present? The irony seems to be that even though we have raised our children to be confident independent decision makers with lives of their own, a lot of us seem to have no confidence in our own ability to choose a happy life for ourselves. And so we sit alone and wait – wait for the phone to ring or a daughter to call or until it’s time to pick up the grandkids from school.
Is it possible that we have waited forty years for retirement freedom only to discover that we don’t want it?
Ok – maybe that is a bit extreme. But I do think it is fair to say that a lot of people are finding that the golden years are not like they thought they would be because they simply assumed that the pension cheques would start rolling in, they would be knee deep in grandchildren, and life would be grand.
They did not give much thought to making a realistic plan for themselves with respect to what their real income would be, let alone their true physical, mental and or emotional needs and the reality of their circumstances has been a nasty shock.
So if you are reading this and grimacing don’t give up – life can get better but you are going to have to make some changes. The thing to work out is what you need to change – do you need to change your living environment, or your reaction to your circumstances, or both?