When my husband and I set ourselves up to walk away from “regular” jobs and pursue the “fun” jobs, we did so through careful planning and making some trade-offs, particularly with the house we purchased. That then led to a decision to perhaps not stay in South Florida permanently, although there are still one or two events that could occur to alter that plan. However, this post is not about us, but about some friends who are down visiting in their RV. This is a couple who is genuinely enjoying retirement, their life spent traveling for now with the full knowledge that they will have to tuck in one of these days or turn the driving over to someone else. They both had careers they liked, a daughter with whom they certainly seem to have a loving relationship, and a pragmatic view about their aging. As we talk with other Baby Boomers, we often hear a refrain of not knowing what to do “when I grow up”, or “I wouldn’t know what to do if I retired”.
If you, or someone you know, is wrestling with this, perhaps the first thing is to think about what you mean by “retire”. If the word for you equates to sitting around listlessly, then who does want to retire? For many of us, however, it means pursuing a fun career where money isn’t the key, volunteering more, or traveling. Yes, traveling takes money, but there are also bargains to be had. Finding the bargains takes time, but then again, if you’re “retired”, time is something that you have. (As an aside, I don’t mean to make light of economic downturns that have decimated retirement for some individuals, but that is most definitely a different subject.) What I have thus far seen from those who are in a position to launch out on a new, or perhaps regain an old direction, it is taking the time to ask what is it that you do enjoy? And it doesn’t have to be only one thing, although especially if you start volunteering, you can find yourself in big demand. There is indeed a whole world out there for “retirement” and the sitting on the front porch idly rocking doesn’t have to come until much, much later.