The Turning Point of Retirement by Bill Storie
I’m often asked if I am enjoying my retirement, notwithstanding my heavy commitment to both the Olderhood worldwide mission and our company The Olderhood Group Ltd.
Before I give my answer, I typically ask why are they asking. By turning the tables on the questioner it’s always surprising to listen to their answers before they hear mine. It usually is based on a fear of their own retirement years.
Everyone wants a happy retirement, but very few know what a happy retirement is, and very few can work out how to either reach a happy state, or to find a way to change their lifestyle to reach that state. The issue is that this is uncharted waters for all of us. We’ve never been retired before and we’ve most likely had a busy, active and time-challenged life through work commitments or family things.
So, for the first time in our life, in general terms, we have loads of free time. Sure, many of us keep working and many of us do great community work etc, but that is a choice not an obligation. Therefore, we all have the ability to do nothing, if we choose.
Olderhood has always advocated that seeking an active retirement life is by far the best approach, but we do recognize and accept that some folks do want to just play golf, read, travel and chill. That’s fine.
And if those worthwhile activities do indeed provide a happy retirement then go for it. But if, as we hear from many, that after a few months of flying here and there, going through security checks, being pushed around the airport and trying to buy something to eat without having to use all the vacation funds before leaving home base – we regularly hear, “Is this it?”
It has been my experience that after a period of meandering aimlessly for a few months, even though I was doing a lot of writing for our blog (I don’t golf and my heavy travel days for business took its toll in my later years). I think there was a continual searching process going on in my mind.
But finally, I reach the Turning Point.
It was so simple I could hardly fathom why it hadn’t hit me before.
But first let me acknowledge that there are many people who, for one reason or another, strive every day to find a better life, particularly in retirement. Any many people simply must keep working for the money. Some may have prolonged illness issues. Some may have family matters that need their constant attention. I get it.
But the Turning Point is simply recognizing that whatever it is that you do every day, every week, every month are the “things” YOU WANT TO DO. By accepting that those activities, whether that be napping in the afternoon, or web-surfing all day, or watching Netflix, or community work, or playing golf are the activities that YOU like.
There is no pressure to keep up with anyone else. Let others do what they want to do.
Once you recognize and accept that your life is your life and that you do not have anyone to seek permission from or advice from, then you immediately start to reach that platform of peace and tranquility in your later years.
Just do it.
By Bill Storie