14 Mar Retire TO Your Happy Place
Retirement is the next exciting chapter in the story of your life. It’s an experience that can be thrilling, educational, cozy, social, creative, whatever you want. Yet, when it comes to planning for retirement, it’s sometimes hard for people who have worked their whole lives to see the wealth of possibilities that comes with this new freedom. Instead, they’re caught up in the present, stuck in their career-centered mentality of “work hard; get a paycheck.” The mindset becomes not saving for the adventures that await around the corner, but saving for the moment they no longer have a job. If you’ve ever felt like retirement is more the end than it is the beginning, here are some tips to flip the script on your post-work plans.
1) Watch Your Language
It’s a concept that we often overlook, but important, nonetheless: words mean things. The words we say and the way we say them have an effect on our thoughts, our perspectives, our moods and those we talk to. Technically, “I’m having a good time” and “I guess I’m not having a bad time,” mean the same thing, but the latter one feels a bit more mopey, right? With this in mind, choose your words when talking or thinking about retirement. Don’t talk about the career you’re about to end, but the life you’re about to start. “I’m retiring from my job of 30 years” doesn’t sound as good as “I’m retiring to Oahu and taking flame twirling lessons.” They both mean you’re retiring, but one has more optimism.
2) Plan on Having Nothing to Do
When you think of your retirement, the first thing you probably think of are those big-ticket plans. From taking a cruise, to going horseback riding, to getting to visit your grandkids more, these are the dream experiences you’ve been waiting to do. But then what? There are 365 days in a year. They can’t all be spent on the back of a horse. Start focusing on how you want to be spending your days in retirement. Not just the red letter days you’ve got cooked up, but the mundane Mondays and the casual Fridays. What do those days look like? What will you be doing when you don’t need to be doing anything? Where will you even be on those days? These are all great questions to ask when formulating your ideal retirement. It will help turn your retirement blueprint into a fully-realized, tangible plan.
3) Right Place Write Time
Sometimes visualizing where you want your retirement can get muddled when you keep that vision in your head for too long. Which one did you decide on again? Was it sipping cocoa on the slopes of Colorado, or mojitos on the sands of Mexico? Starting a dream book is a great way to get your ideas down on paper and craft what your dream retirement looks like. Build your ideal retirement scenario, put it away, then come back when you think of something you’d rather do instead and edit. Not only do you have a more detailed vision of what retirement means to you, you also have a record of it to show your retirement planner so you’re both on the same page.
4) A Retirement Built for Two
If you have a significant other, it becomes doubly important to have a more fleshed out retirement plan. Of course, you’ll talk to each other about those big plans, but if you then just assume the other is thinking what you’re thinking for the rest of it, you could end up having to make a lot of last-minute compromises. Try to take time each year (we suggest your anniversary, so you don’t have to remember an extra date) to crack open that dream book and touch base with your partner. This makes sure your goals stay compatible with each other and there are no messy miscommunications down the line. Teamwork makes the dream work.
Revel in Retirement!
Your retirement isn’t just the place you go when you’re done working. It’s the celebration and continuation of a life full of experiences, accomplishments and love. It deserves to be treated as such. Make the time to paint a vivid picture of what you envision your “happy place” to be, then go there.