Retirement: Simplify your Life (625 words)
Tips for the indecisive
Does your brain shut down whenever you start to think about the logistics of retirement? Sometimes proactive steps are needed. Figure out what you want and what your partner wants. Get on with it. If not now, when? Hello. If you are in your late forties, or fifties, or sixties, and this still is not clear to you, just do something. You might be suffering from a terminal brain-fog, or just be so tired that the fetal position on a couch is your idea of happiness. Well, it isn’t.
If you are having challenges whether of not to move, start a new part-time job, or just feel unsure about everything, a good step to take is to simplify your life. During this process you can review what is important to you that you want to hang on to and what you want to discard. This act of cleansing moves you forward because you are clarifying your values at this point in life with respect to your personality, your interests, your needs and hobbies. As you get rid of the detritus of the past, you become open to new possibilities.
Most important, determine the way to want to live your life with respect to time and climate. Do you want languorous days with no schedule, or would you go stir-crazy after your initial rest-up period? Hopefully some of these mesh with your closest companions, so you can spend some of your time together.
What do you think of the weather in your part of the world? I love Vancouver in the summer, but the months of endless rain and damp get me down. If you want to go elsewhere for the cold winter months, or too-hot summer months, start to explore now.
Choose a simpler lifestyle. No, really, do it. Get rid of all the stuff you have been hanging on to. Do you truly enjoy cleaning it, sorting it, organizing it, categorizing it, buying new containers for it, and ultimately storing it? Do you own shares in plastic-box storage companies?
Just because your junk is organized, does not mean it is valuable. Do you own your possessions, or do your possessions own you? By the way, you do not need to sort or clean things to throw them out.
I favor giving things straight to charity. Organizing garage sales, cleaning, and pricing tends to focus me on the past. What is your hourly rate? Will you make it on your sale?
Choosing a simpler lifestyle gives you two results. First, you save money by not continually buying possessions. You can use this extra cash to do the things you want, rather than keep the status quo in place. Second, because you live simply, you have more time for your goals. You are not bogged down with the entrails of your previous everyday life. You get a chance to review the big snapshot of your life.
Set some definite dates. Date-power is amazing. Knowing you are going to retire by a certain date starts your internal processes hurtling forth to achieve your objective. Even little purchasing decisions start to align with your ultimate goal. For example, should you buy a new “investment” wardrobe if you plan to retire to the beach within a scant few years? Well, maybe, but probably not. How many times will you use the humungous stainless-steel barbeque that takes up half your patio?
These are good questions. Can you imagine all the fabulous possessions of the millions of baby boomers going up for sale in the next twenty years? Can you guess as to their ultimate value? In my estimation: not much.
Remember, your kids will not want your stuff. They have too much of their own. (625 words)
©Mahara Sinclaire 2010
Contact Information: The Laughing Boomer Services #8 8623 Granville Street, Vancouver, BC V6P 5A2 Canada 604 210 2025 www.laughingboomer.com
Mahara Sinclaire, M. Ed. Is the author of The Laughing Boomer: Retire from Work – Gear Up for Living! available from www.laughingboomer.com. She was a college and university educator and has presented hundred of workshops on a variety of topics, including retirement planning workshops. But what people are most interested in is Mahara and her husband’s two year, forty-three country, round-the-world travel odyssey. Contact her at 604-210-2025, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.laughingboomer.com.