Retirement used to be synonymous with old age. Yet modern retirement is far from that, which is why we probably need to come up with a new name for retirement after all the word retire means to withdraw and that is the last thing contemporary retirees are doing. Also, retirement is associated with stopping work, and for some, retirement may mean continuing to work, but on their terms. So, it is wrong to associate retirement with getting old and past it.
Equally, there is no blueprint for a happy retirement, and no two successful retirements will look the same. Live your own retirement as Steve Jobs counselled:
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”
While there have been thousands of books written on the subject, on how to live and enjoy retirement, the reality is that, like your life before, retirement is personal. What you do may not be right for the next person and vice versa. So, do not compare your retirement to others. Do what you and your life partner want to do, which should be what makes you happy.
Furthermore, do not feel social pressure to lead a full and active retirement if this is not for you. One of the advantages of retirement should be not feeling guilty about not doing things. Remember, it is as much about what you don’t want to do as what you do want to do.
“I felt enormous pressure to launch myself into retirement from friends who had retired before me, yoga, learning a new language, walking, travelling around the globe, golf twice a week. I thought now hang on, I will do what I want, and initially this was taking a rest, doing nothing, I was knackered and needed to recharge”.
James Turner, retired executive
Many soon-to-be retirees we speak to, do not really know what they want, but they know what they don’t want, and that is less than they have now. Maintaining the standard of living for you and your family, and continuing to do the things that you enjoy is important, and rightly so.
Over the many years I have been giving advice I have come across several retirement characters, and it is common for retirees to share traits from some or many of these.
Which retiree are you or will you be?
Take a look at the different retirement characters here.