Knowing how chapters can sometimes unfold messily, I wanted to create a place where I can share my own life’s journey.
Including all the things that I love AND all the things that I have learned. We can then fearlessly tackle this road called life....together. And hopefully the ending of YOUR story is one of victory...loaded with joy.
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May 19, 2020
Retirement….is that word music to your ears?
Have you been planning it and thinking about retirement since….like forever? Maybe from even a young age? Or, do you dread it? Because what are you going to do with yourself all day?!
I had a friend who, from when he was about 30, talked about retirement ALL the time. He could not wait until he could quit working, move to the beach, and worship the sun all day. We have since lost track of each other….but I do know that he did retire and move to the beach. I wonder tho, is it all he hoped it would be?
At the time I thought he was crazy and I just laughed. Only now, I think it’s just sad. It’s almost as if he wasted his whole life for the future. He could not really live for today. Do you think that way too? Do you just hate what you do so much that you can’t wait to quit? Or are you only working to make ends meet and you can’t wait until the day you can collect your pension and/or Social Security?
Since my husband retired 2 years ago, I have come to realize that retirement is not as easy as you think. There are many facets to retirement that most people don’t think about. I would like to briefly touch base on a few of them now. I will have more in depth posts as soon as I have time to write them 🙂 A few questions for you to think about….
How do you want to live when you retire?
Do you want to live the same lifestyle you are living now?
Are you willing to live on less? Or, is living on less a necessity?
Do you currently have a plan in place for saving money? Are you contributing to a 401K? IRA? Pension Plan? General savings?
Once you determine your lifestyle ask yourself –
Will you have enough money to live that lifestyle when you retire?
Or maybe another way to look at the financial piece of retirement is to first start with how much money you will have. Analyze how long you think that money will last….and figure out your lifestyle from there.
Maybe you need to get a smaller house. Or sell the boat. Or trade in that car for a less expensive one.
And then what happens if your retirement is frozen (like what recently happened with GE). What will you do then?
What are you going to do when you retire? Do you have hobbies that you love? Activities that you have been waiting to do or start doing? A big part of your day is now unscheduled. You need to figure out, in advance, what you are going to do with that time. Do you want to fish? Learn an instrument? Learn to knit? Take classes? Read books for months on end?
My husband had a HUGE list of things he wanted to do when he retired. He spent his life being a great husband, an ever present dad and the financial piece of our family….now it was his turn to play.
How are you and your spouse going to coexist in the same space 24/7? Do you both need your own space – physically and emotionally?
(My mom had a friend, that when he retired, proceeded to tell his wife how to vacuum. Like she hadn’t been vacuuming for 40+ years already!)
Is your spouse going to tell you how to load the dishwasher? Is he going to lean on you for his all day activities? Will you be his sole companion for conversation?
Do you have friends? Are you planning on moving when you retire? If you are, what is your plan to meet people? People to hang out with besides your spouse.
My husband has had a rough time. He was in sales and loved the hunt and the close. He loved talking to his peers. He also traveled Monday-Friday for about 35 years. Re-entry has been tough!
I told him that I was for better and for worse….but not for extended periods of conversation or dinner EVERY night 🙂 He needed to find a buddy to do things with. It has taken some time but he has found a few friends. So awesome for him.
Try not to be a burden to your children. What do I mean when I say that? Asking when they are coming to visit…all the time. Or even visiting all the time. Laying on the guilt. Offering unsolicited advice whenever you have a conversation. Your kids will resent your retirement if you lean on them way too much.
There is so much that goes into retirement. And, planning for it from a young age is important. Especially the financial piece. Compounding interest from age 30-65 – whew! It can be mind boggling. Check out ‘40 Ways to Save Money NOW’. A great place to start.
I pray that you can navigate those waters gracefully and enjoy your time while you do it. It sure is great to wake up and say….what do I want to do today?
Big Hugs, Jane