Golden Years my … by Bill Storie
I was recently reading a newspaper article about a company that is a pension provider. Their representative was discussing why some people choose to take their pension out in a lump sum rather than over several years through an annuity for example.
There was nothing wrong with the point being made but the representative referred to the time in our life when we actually receive the pension as “our golden years”.
So now that I am in retirement am I now in my golden period? Is that how this works? So have I graduated from bronze to silver to gold? I wonder what platinum will look like.
These are not my golden years. This is simply a time in my life when I have more liberty to do what I like doing. I haven’t earned any rights or paid any price for such freedom. It’s just that my clock has ticked over more than those not in retirement. Perhaps when those not in retirement watch their own clocks tick over, they too will be annoyed at being referred to as being in their golden years. Just a thought.
One of the reasons we started Olderhood was to convince people that when you are actually IN your retirement phase of your life, the Third Journey as we call it, then your emotions and feelings change dramatically. When you are in employment and getting a steady income, having work schedules and family commitments etc. then your life is fairly structured. Your time is taken by others and you are left, if you’re lucky with an hour or so each evening to relax, unwind and get ready for the next day.
That all changes in retirement.
Your time is your time. Sure you may have family stuff to do but by and large you can do whatever you want with your time. If you feel you want to be productive today you can be productive. If however you feel want to do nothing then you can do nothing. However the way you view retirement life is way different from the way you viewed it when you were in full-time employment.
Yet, we are bombarded with advisors, sales people, politicians for that matter who seem to know more about OUR retirement life than we do. They have it all figured out long before they get there themselves.
But the truth is that they look at retirement through the eyes of someone who is tired, frustrated with work, deluged with kid’s issues, struggling financially etc. They dream of the day when they can be free. Therefore they have this Pollyanna perspective of what life is like in the retirement phase. Then they give it a name. You guessed it, this is the golden period.
Well it might look golden to them, but believe me, when they get to their own golden period, their observations will change so much that they will look back and say to themselves, “What the hell was I talking about back then? And there I was giving advice to retirees when I had absolutely zero idea of the emotional roller-coaster that the retirement years can bring.”
Here’s the rub though. Go try telling those “experts” about the change they will undeniably face and they will treat you as some old idiot who just doesn’t “get it.”
So enough of this golden stuff.
Color me purple.
Be cool, be happy, be there.
By Bill Storie