Do you want to retire from work and gear up for living?
How would you feel if you could pack it all in and travel around the world for a year? See the lush jungles of the Amazon. Visit the jewel that is Paris, stroll the grand city of Rome, admire the domes and great architecture of Florence and Venice. Are you longing for the sun? Do you want to escape the rain andsnow that has hits much of Canada and the U.S. each winter?
Can you imagine your day without your busy workaday schedule? Of course you enjoy some aspects of your job - maybe much of your job. You love the challenges --- the chance to make a difference--- and your work colleagues.
But even though you have a satisfying career, of late you are questioning things. Perhaps you are saying, "is this all there is?" Or maybe your developing a ‘been there-done that' attitude. You've read the book saw the movie and the reviews - heck you wrote the movie.
Maybe it's the new developments in your field, which feel like a cycle of same-old, same-old. Or maybe you are resistant to learning yet one more technological advance. Whatever the reason, the idea of not working keeps infiltrating the recesses of your mind.
Natural Life Phase
Do you remember the old song - To everything, turn, turn, there is a season, turn, turn and a time for every purpose under heaven?
What you are feeling is a natural life phase. You are reaching the end of your work life. Well, maybe not yet, but you realize that you have more working years behind you than ahead of you. The idea of taking it easy is seeping into your consciousness more and more often.
You are aware of the larger cycles of life. Maybe some of your friends have made plans for retiring and are implementing them. It is spurring you forward. Or perhaps you've experienced the trauma of a close relative or a friend having a life-threatening experience.
You start to realize that you are, in fact, not going to live forever. You see that you and your friends work too hard, and don't take the time to smell the roses, have some fun, laugh and just enjoy life.
Maybe you are a school teacher and you've said the words, "Go outside and play and have some fun" once too often. You want to go outside yourself, have a permanent recess.
What happens as we age is that we gain perspective or perhaps simply arrive at a different place. For some it's a gradual awakening to the fact that they are finished with working. For others it's an instant in time, an epiphany as it were.
The last time you lifted your head up for air you saw a whole different world out there. Perhaps your last vacation resonated so strongly that you want to do more of that and less of work.
What most people want is freedom! Freedom to do what you want, when you want; to have a flexible way of life.
Rethink your Goals
When you do this - eventually stop working - what will you do? You've heard of those that drop dead from boredom within a few short years. This sometimes is an excuse for people to say they will work forever. The bottom line is that retirement needs planning, and not just the financial kind.
Picture for a moment your perfect day - where are you? What city? Or is it a city? Is it a seaside village, a tiny cottage in the woods, a log ski chalet, a tropical beach, a boat? What are you doing? What cultural experiences do you long for? Do you want to spend your time in art galleries, at sidewalk cafes, tromping through the bush, bicycling, or listening to music?
Who are you with? Are you meeting interesting people who are progressive and give back, or are you stuck reviewing old hurts and petty happenstances?
Laughing Boomer Book
I'm Mahara Sinclaire, the author of The Laughing Boomer: Retire from Work - Gear Up for Living! I surveyed many people before I wrote this book and what I found was different than what I expected. The comments that most people resonated with is that they want to make their retirement as successful as their work life. Most people goals were not a retirement of doing nothing, but a retirement of new beginnings.
This book is not your regular retirement planning book, admonishing you to save, save, save and leaving you feeling despondent. What the Laughing Boomer is about is living your dreams. If not now, when? This book is not about fitting your life into your finances but about exploring options to fit your money into your life and dreams. It's about you going after your dreams and making them a reality.
The bottom line is that there are hundreds of ways to live your life. First you need to be clear about what you want. You may be focused and happy or you may still find some aspects lacking in your life.
If not now, when?
What most people need at this point in life are a few things: great personal relationships, good health, interesting activities and enough money to make things happen.
With more time you can focus on a stronger body; exercise more, eat healthfully and get rid of stress. You can travel and spend longer periods of time on the beach, at the cottage, explore the world.
You can have fun pursuing your interests and build a brand new life. Think of all the things you can do if you are retired for thirty or more years,
Money is the trick. If the money is not there to live as you have to date, you are probably still working. You may be happy enough with your life, but - you need to keep working. If you stop working you could not keep the same house or situation.
Yet the song keeps going through your head - To everything, turn, turn, there is a season, turn, turn. You know it is your season to stop working and to simply be.
So what to do?
The Laughing Boomer gives you suggestions. Maybe you should sell your house, put everything in storage and travel the world for a year. That's what we've done.
And, after all, travelling around the world when you are not paying the full freight at home becomes eminently possible. There are other places in the world where your dollars go a lot further.
Maybe you don't need the large home, the two cars, the assorted clothing. Perhaps you should downsize now - get rid of the stuff of life, and move to a smaller city or town where you can still work, but part-time.
Maybe you want to stay exactly where you are, but spend your time pursuing activities you want to do. This is not about selfishness, but about being authentic to your true self. Or many you should design a life that is a combination of many various elements.
Need information and a push to make decisions
What's holding you back from making these decisions? Well, in my opinion, a few things. The first is fear of the unknown, of what would happen if it did not work out, of all sorts of things. Some people call this a lack of guts.
Second, and most common is family, friends and commitments. You need to rearrange your relationships with your extended family upon retirement, your children and, if you have them, grandkids, You have your parents to consider, and your involvement in activities that you have done for years. You know that travel and change will only expand your options, but still it is scary.
Third, and I think most important, is that you may not have role models of people who have up and out followed their dreams.
Fourth is that you are stepping out of your comfort zone - routines that may not that terribly interesting, but are comfortable. There is nothing wrong with routines, but there be also nothing wrong with living without routines. You are responsible, reliable, used to carrying the load. The idea of giving up this part of your personality, of having a fling with life might make you giddy. You might have too much fun. And that just shouldn't be, or so you subconsciously think.
Last, for this list anyway, is that it is hard to make decisions because there are just too many options out there. You want to know more and that takes time and energy, and since you are working so hard and don't have much energy at night, you don't have time to research it. And so the circle goes on. You worry that the decision may be made for you by default, when you or your partner gets sick, or some other major event interferes with your life.
Let's face it. You only live once. When will you be healthier, stronger? Do you have some secret knowledge about your future health that no one else has? On a similar theme, do you know the future of the world? All sorts of places you might have visited have changed, become war zones. Thing happen. Look at the Middle East, East Africa, parts of Europe. The world is changing rapidly.
Below is the Table of Contents:
Chapter One Whoosh! What’s Happening, Toto? Retirement Transition and Change
Chapter Two Who and What Makes Your Heart Sing? Values, Personality, and Relationships
Chapter Three Who Moved My Goalposts? Interests and Goal Setting
Chapter Four Bird’s Nest, Lily Pad, or Beachfront in Paradise If You Won’t Use It, Lose It! Your Home and Your Possessions
Chapter Five On the Road Again Travel
Chapter Six Pumping Iron into the Sunset Health
Chapter Seven This Time from the Heart What Touches Your Soul? Work and Volunteer
Chapter Eight It’s Only Money, Honey Finances
Chapter Nine Crystal Ball, Anyone? Decision Making and Realizing your Vision of the Future
Dream Big, Plan Well, Be Happy
Join a community of Laughing Boomers who are making a difference in this world. Support causes you believe in - spend your time in ways you find important. If you restructure your lifestyle, instead of working you can spend your time helping others.
Or maybe you want to do nothing at all. Maybe yours is more of an internal journey - a personal path of reflection and making sense of the world and your place in it.
Whatever your path - there is a whole world outside of working.
While there may be a few people who have stopped working and want to go back, the vast majority of you enjoy what not working provides - freedom. We can gaze with amazement and awe of the challenges people face and how they find ways to funnel their energies to overcome. The human spirit prevails in spite of the humdrum of life and the violence and criminal behavior that sometimes surrounds us.
You want your retirement to lead to a rich intellectual life - a life full of friends, laughs, good times, family, learning, trying new things, travel and engaged emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually.
Go bigger - broaden your horizons. Don't just live in the small comfortable village of your life, but interaction with people all around the world. Step out in the lead. Step out of your comfort zone. People will follow. You will meet fascinating people from all around the world and mix with different cultures, Getting out of your life creates perspective of your life - it leads to ease, not dis-ease. Grace and a more fluid life - Retire from work, gear up for living. Have a fling with life!