RETIREMENT.....it's many Phases & Faces
Decision to retire...if not now, when?
Starting off very early on, into the world of making one's mark in the "job" market, may seem like an enormous step, requiring Herculean strength and stamina. It is, in many ways. However, when we've reached the point of looking back, relatively speaking, we may find that was the easiest our career journey would be.
Once we have devoted 30 or 40 years to our livelihood and have reached the end, so to speak, we're face to face with a major life decision. What now?
Another of life's milestones? Yes, absolutely and by no means is retirement a minor step.There are any number of drastic changes about to occur with their corresponding issues and emotions. Just as with any major event in our life, the better prepared we are, the more comfortable the transition. While levels of excitement and anticipation may run high, most of us don't escape a little concern and anxiety. At retirement age and stage, I think we can agree this change is nothing at all like perhaps going off to college or buying our first home. No, this step is quite different in many ways. Moving on.........
Preparation and Thought Process
While the official age of Retirement is and has been 65, for what seems like forever, individuals everywhere have opted to take flight at various ages. There seems to be a rise in the choice to not retire at all, but continue to show up at the office for as long as health & circumstance will allow. To each, his own.
For the vast majority, from the moment you hold your very first job, in addition to the hundreds of reasons and purposes we trudge onward, we're aware that the ultimate goal is, Retirement.
If you're nearing this huge life change, the first phase has begun for you. While details may be individual and personal, the big picture entails many of the same issues for all of us. In any case, there's an enormous amount of planning to consider.
This planning phase will be as difficult or uncomplicated as one allows it to be. One of the most beneficial places to start is as close to home as possible. The Veteran Retiree is an invaluable source of experience and wisdom. Conveniently, they also happen to have the time and desire to answer all your questions and share their secrets to creating the comfort and satisfaction you've earned.
Sure, there are experts and professionals who do nothing else but assist in retirement planning, particularly in terms of finances. A consultation with one of them, is an absolute must.
I retired young. I hadn't planned it that way, but a family situation with catastrophic illness, altered the usual course of events for me. I was forced to make this decision and although it was a no-brainer to make, needless to say, some fancy footwork and shortcuts were required. I've not regretted this for one moment of the past 10 years.
Dave Ramsey: The Money MAGICIAN
Pulling up stakes or staying put?
In our country, Northerners, a.k.a "Snow Birds," head South in droves. There's no secret to this nor explanation necessary. A really common practice for so many, is to acquire property in a southern locale, at some point in mid-life.
This then, becomes their "winter home" and annual vacation spot destination. When it's time to close up shop, they simply transfer their life from North to South.
Then there are those, like myself, who choose to stay right where they are. The list of determining factors for this decision is endless. For me, I not only love my lifelong environment, the thought of leaving family and the dear friends I treasure, is simply out of the question. All the sun and warm climate in the world, wouldn't keep my heart warm.
In the interest of honesty, I should admit that I despise high temperatures and humidity, in the first place.
Sailing solo or with a Ship Mate?
If we're fortunate enough to have reached retirement with our spouse or partner, this presents another aspect to the decision-making. Reaching agreement in choices, here again, is as simple or complex as we make it. It's fairly safe to assume that a long term marriage or relationship has resulted in common goals and dreams of what is desired in a future together.
Celebrate an Ending and a NEW Beginning
The LAST Days at our place of employment can be a mixture of excitement and emotion. If not a Retirement Party, our fellow-employees will not allow us to exit without a bit of fanfare, a cake, some gifts, well-wishes and lots of hugs included.
While we may feel a ton lifted from our shoulders in terms of relinquishing those daily pressures and the work-related stress, there may also be a tiny part of us feeling some separation anxiety. After all, if we've spent a fair amount of time with fellow-employees, the staff in general, we've formed bonds, or at the least, a pleasant association. It can pose a struggle to say Good Bye to familiar faces.
But, this is our time now and as with every new beginning, the finale of something precedes it.
The Gold Medal of Achievement
Speaking from my own experience, there's a realization that stands out above some others. The first time it is crystal clear to you that your time is your very own....that moment, has the impact to literally lift you off the ground.
Within reason, we make your own schedule, call the shots, change our mind as often as we damned-well please and see before us a thousand scenarios of interesting things to do and places to go. There's a surge of joy and gratitude that does not soon subside.
Go for it. Just DO IT. If you prefer, do NOTHING. But use this wonderful opportunity to it's full potential for yourself and your loved ones for the balance of your life.
Wherever you are at this point in life, whatever is in store, there is no doubt it's all as it should be. The Universe makes no mistakes in timing of events. You are valuable and your life so worthwhile.
As you glance at your own image & look around, I trust you'll find Magnificence. Drink it all in. Embrace retirement with gusto!
Go ahead, laugh a little. You've earned it!
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