Retirement for Real

Here are nine things that I see differently from this perch called retirement, now I have been here a while:

  1. Building a New Life. Think about retirement as the chance to build a new life from scratch, and this goes doubly if you are moving to a new part of the country. This is an opportunity to be yourself fully, so think about not just the stuff you want to start doing, but also what you want to stop doing. You will still have constraints, of course, but how you maneuver around them is part of who you are.
  2. Giving. What you give to others in retirement is a mindset and attitude as much as knowledge and time. Help others be better.
  3. Money. Unless you have really saved “enough” money, you are going to need a budget. Get that spreadsheet ready. Also, there is nothing like a 30 minutes, once per week, discussing with your spouse what you spent and why.
  4. Organizing. Retirement requires just as much, if not more, administration and project management time as your working life required.
  5. Living Space. If you move to a new area because you believe it to be cheaper, give it a year or so before that cheap kicks in. There is always a period of settling into a new home and new community that requires resources.
  6. Time. Take responsibility for yourself and the time you have. Don’t drive your spouse crazy.
  7. Parents. Your parents and your spouse’s parents are going to need attention. You basically have four parents now (more if you have a multiple marriage situation), and you are going to have to help attend to all of them at one point or another.
  8. Health. Your health belongs to you – not your doctor, your spouse, your friends, or your trainer.  If you aren’t in the habit of moving around most of the time, of eating mindfully, recognizing when you are stressed, then your health is already declining.
  9. The Future. You cannot know what is to come. Don’t believe every thought that pops into your mind.

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