Why do some people look forward to retirement and others dread it?
Since the advent of Social Security, our culture has decided age 65 is the magic age for those of us who have put in many years of “hard work” to step aside and let the younger ones have a chance for upward mobility. That was because most of us passed away within three years of that date. Really.
We all know that is not so anymore.
We need a new paradigm for retirement; no longer defined as the cessation of our “working years”, but a logical and welcome new phase of life, richer in so many ways than the former. It should be planned as carefully as we considered career choices when we are in our twenties. Unfortunately, with the old paradigm still in place, we still think of it as a place to tread water until we pass. It gives many of us permission to coast, to stop learning, to stop challenging ourselves, to stop seeking something more.
The reality is we may be “in retirement” for almost as many years as we were working! That’s a waste of a lot of years, if it means we do nothing but coast.
Granted we may find ourselves struggling in poor health or facing a future without a soul mate, but that should not preclude enjoying and living life to the fullest.
One of the attractions to a 55-and-older community is the plethora of things to do, sponsored trips to take, socializing with people who have had full and adventurous lives. They encourage us to expand our own horizons, to start crossing out things on our bucket list (good place to start if you haven’t created one!), to take pride in our own accomplishments. It keeps the residents young, both mentally and physically.
And you don’t need to live in one to have a life this full. Plenty of social services exist in many communities to allow seniors to be involved in activities which are of interest to people of a certain age.
Please don’t coast. Find out what wonders are still out there to be discovered before you can’t.
For more information on retirement planning, please fill out the contact form. We’d love to hear from you.