You probably think about retirement a lot, even more so if you’re getting close to this major milestone. But what is it you are thinking about when you imagine your golden years? Spending your days on a golf course? Doting on your grandchildren? Traveling to your heart’s content? Slowing down and being in vacation mode for longer than a week?
For many, retirement conjures up images of carefree days, no responsibilities, and no schedule. While some eagerly strive for that, others cringe at the thought of no structure or plans. If you find the idea of having nothing to do unappealing, or maybe even flat-out depressing, let us suggest a new definition for retirement. Retirement doesn’t have to mean no longer working; it simply means increased freedom for your time and finances.
Retirement is the much-awaited-for season of life where you have the freedom to make decisions without your job dictating your choices. Gone are the days of stressing over how long you can be gone, how much time you can spend volunteering, or choosing between a vacation and a paycheck. Now you can decide what you want your life to look like. Here are some ideas to consider as you dream about your ideal retirement.
Pursue Your Dream Job
We’re not talking about the kind of job that most young college graduates dream of, full of power, money, and influence. I’m talking about that job that makes your heart race when you think about it, a job you’ve always wanted to pursue but didn’t think could pay the bills.
This kind of dream job could be working as Santa over the holidays, becoming a park ranger, hosting a class in a craft store, or starting a small business. When you are financially independent in retirement, low pay doesn’t have to keep you from taking on a job that you love.
Volunteer To Your Heart’s Content
Not everything worth doing generates a paycheck, but that doesn’t matter once you’re retired. Instead of spending long hours doing crossword puzzles, you may find more enjoyment in getting out and giving back to your community.
Whether you volunteer by reading to children at your neighborhood elementary school, caring for animals at the local humane society, mentoring young adults coming out of the foster care system, or serving in your family’s church, the opportunities to volunteer are practically endless.
Invest In Your Family
If you ever felt guilty about spending long hours at work instead of with your family, now is the time to make that right. Retirement is the perfect opportunity to invest your time into the younger generations of your family. Be intentional about using this time to get to know your loved ones even better and to create some special memories they will cherish long after you are gone.
Do you have grandchildren in daycare or after-school care programs? Do you think they would be better off with a grandparent than a stranger? Now you have the ability to make that happen! Even if it is only one day a week, your grandchildren will be forever impacted by the time you spend pouring into their young lives.
Don’t Stop Learning
Did you ever dream of finishing that degree you started or going to law school? This is your chance to do just that. You have room in your schedule and you won’t even have to pay as much as you would have when you were younger. Many states, including California, offer free or reduced higher-education tuition for seniors.
Also, studies have shown that the more you work your brain as you age, the longer it lasts. Cognitively active seniors with an average age of 80 are 2.6 times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s or dementia than those with less cognitive activity. (1) That’s another great reason to go back to school!
Start A New Venture
There is a strong correlation between age and successful entrepreneurship, and the numbers are in your favor. (2) Middle-age and older entrepreneurs experience much higher success rates than the younger ones. I guess your hard-earned life experience really does count for something! So, instead of seeing retirement as the end of your working life, it can actually be a rebirth—one where you call the shots.
Are You Ready For Your Forever Vacation?
Whatever your dream retirement consists of, whether it’s entrepreneurship, grandchildren, or travel, you need someone to help you get there. 1on1financial can help you determine how far your money will get you in retirement and answer all of your financial and life planning questions so you can experience financial independence and retire on your terms. To learn more about what we do, call our office today at 909-981-1720 or simply click here to schedule a free 15-minute introductory phone call!
Philip A. Board MSFS, CFS, is a retirement planning specialist and the founder of 1on1financial, an independent comprehensive investment firm serving individuals and businesses throughout the United States. He is also the owner and CEO of Medi-cal Benefits.