Retirement presents many challenges. It is an ending but also a beginning. Many are relieved that working life is over: others are anxious about what they will do. There are some universal issues around retirement, but the process varies from person to person.
Everyone has to design their own retirement plan. For some of us, this is easy, but for others, not so much. Here are some issues to think about as retirement approaches.
1. Think hard about what you like to do. Retirement doesn’t work well if you do what you think you should do. Sometimes, it is not easy to figure out and may take trial and error.
2. Work at retirement. Create structure. Don’t waste time.
3. Try to get good at things. Whether cooking, golfing, traveling, or gardening, study and improve. Being competent makes any endeavor more fun.
4. If you value relationships, get social. Take the initiative. Time is limited, and you have an opportunity. Don’t wait for your phone to ring. Reach out!
5. Retirement brings freedom. Don’t worry about what others think. The canvas is empty. Paint away.
6. If you want to try new things, do it now. Learn and grow.
7. Take some time to assess your past life and put it in perspective. Acceptance that you did the best you could brings peace and makes it easier to move on. Think of your working life as an athletic contest. The game was played. It is over, and you are free to move on to other endeavors.
8. Try to stay as healthy as possible. Illness compromises retirement.
9. As aging makes one activity difficult or impossible, move on to another activity. Find things that are fun and do them. If you can’t play tennis, play pickleball.
10. Remember that we can all keep growing and learning. You really can teach old dogs new tricks.