Planning for a major change in your life, such as retirement, requires a considerable amount of thought and planning. Up to this point in your life you have been contributing most of your energy, thoughts and resources to your chosen career. Your family has also played a big role in your day.
There are two important days in your life that should be given ample attention: the day you retire and the day you decide how you wish to spend the rest of your life! For many of our clients, the decision to change lifestyle from work focused to life focused is one that requires a tremendous amount of study. Can you play golf every day? Can you fish every day? How about simply sleeping in bed until noon each day?
Odds are that you are someone who needs a little more structure and the satisfaction that you are contributing to your community. Below are five strategies to help you continue to grow intellectually, spiritually and financially during retirement:
- Continue or start reading books. Many of the great minds of modern times attribute their knowledge, and continued growth past their active careers, to reading good books. The library has a great program for a cheap price – FREE! Yes, you can read some of the great classics by completing a library card application. What a great world we live in!
- Join a civic group. Man was meant to be active and provide charity to those less fortunate. Many communities have wonderful civic groups to help those in need. I am partial to the International Association of Lions Clubs. Helping others also helps you become a better person and it takes the focus of yourself.
- Attend the church or synagogue of your choice. Active participation and consistent attendance in spiritual worship creates a more fulfilling life. Many of our clients attend church every time the doors are opened. These individuals’ lives are more peaceful, tranquil and fulfilled due to the study of Holy Scriptures.
- Become a mentor to younger professionals. One of my dearest friends serves as a mentor to younger professionals in his career field. His forty years of experience helps the younger generation of leaders make better decisions. He often tells me, “Just because you are not working for pay, doesn’t mean you quit working.” Wise words from a very wise gentleman.
- Keep a journal of your activities. For many years I have recorded life’s highs and lows in my journals. This activity gives my mind the opportunity to think clearly about challenges and develop solutions. Perhaps you could start a journal to leave your wise words to your family that will help them in times of need. This is a private book that you write in any manner you choose.
The key to living a successful life is to live it on your own terms. Define clearly what makes you happy. How can you help others find happiness? Don’t think of retirement as the end of a career, think of it as “reFIREment”- the start of another chapter in life.
One of my favorite roles is to help pre-retirees find their goals in the next phase of their life. If you truly want to live life to its fullest, it doesn’t simply take money. You are the secret ingredient! Go out today and change someone else’s life for the better. The one that receives the most benefit may just be you.