Retiring from the work world is an exciting time. It certainly was for me, as it was something I always imagined myself doing, almost from the first day I started working.
I’ll be honest, I am not exactly lazy, (although my wife might argue that point) but I am not crazy about working either. At least not for someone else, and at least not in a 9-5 job. I’m much happier as a kind of laissez-faire, laid back, blogger artist type. It’s more fitting of my personality type.
With that in mind, I often find it interesting to see people continue to work past retirement age, not because they have to financially, and not because they need the money, more because they think they need the money.
I’m not talking about folks who have careers that they love and it’s really all they wanted to do anyway. Artists, writers, doctors, lawyers, Regis Philbin, and others are doing what they want to do, and therefore see no point in retiring, don’t want to quit working, and many of them if pressed, would probably do what they do for free, out of love for the job…well not lawyers…but they are a different breed anyway…..
Early retirement is an adjustment of sorts, you no longer have to be somewhere at a given time, no longer have to dress up, and most importantly, (at least to me) you have more control over the BS that enters your life than you have working at a job with a boss or bosses.
Imagine soaking in this scene every morning instead of a picture of it on your desk, or worse, some stupid abstract painting on a boardroom wall, or even much worse, a motivational poster that tells you about the importance of teamwork or something equally awe-inspiring……
Retirement is a financial adjustment for many, as your salary decreases when you trade a paycheck for a pension check. But so do your expenses and the secret, if there is one, is to take charge of your spending, and to eliminate the expenses that you really don’t need. For example, when you are retired, you won’t need the clothing budget that you did when you were employed. New outfits, business suits and dress shoes, become less important. You also won’t be buying lunches and several cups of coffee in a restaurant. No bus passes, no monthly car parking fees, no toll bridge fees.
I think most folks who don’t retire early, either really, really love their job, or love making money-period, or refuse to make any of the lifestyle changes necessary to live on a smaller income.
It’s a case of priorities. If you are considering retiring, you need to carefully consider the financial implications, and weigh them against the things you want to do, and when you want to do them.
Life is such a crap shoot in terms of health and longevity, that it is not always a good idea to put off doing the things you want to do until you are at an advanced age.
Let’s face it, good health is precious and can be fleeting. We all know folks who didn’t live to see retirement, some who didn’t even come close, and some who wait too long to retire, and cash in their chips soon after leaving the workforce without enjoying the good life.
When you’re young, it difficult to picture yourself old. It’s called the immortality of youth or something like that. You never imagine being too old to carry the outboard motor to the boat, or being too old to balance on a motorcycle as you tour the country. But you will be someday, trust me, and even though you will probably live longer than your parents, you will still become older and more infirmed at some point.
What might surprise you is that if you wait too long to do it, the thing you dream about doing, will no longer be as attractive when the time comes you can do it. That’s because you may not have the energy that you have in youth. For example, when I was a young man I had a rabbit hound and spent many winter days rabbit hunting.
I loved it, to me, there was nothing as fun and exciting as a day in the woods listening to the little rabbit dog howling on the trail of a snowshoe hare. I figured I would always be a rabbit hunter and when my beloved hound died, decided to wait until I retired to get another one. Now that I am retired and could have another dog, I haven’t got the interest to spend days in the northern winter woods, freezing my toes in the cold, trudging through snow, to shoot rabbits.
Even at 60 many folks are not as agile as when they are 50, and at 75 or 80, stuff becomes even more difficult. Even the easy stuff that you take for granted today, becomes more difficult.
I find that even at my comparatively young age, tasks like putting the wharf in the water at the camp is not as easy to do alone as it was when I was 35 or 40. Stuff gets heavier as you get older and as you get really older, even the ground becomes less flat and walking is more tiring….Knowing when that point will be is impossible to determine, other than taking guesses and hoping….
So with that in mind, all I am saying is, if you are considering retiring, and hanging on for the extra $35 a week on your pension that two more years of service will provide….get real……
What are you waiting for ? Go see your company’s Human Resources or your financial advisor today, and start planning for early retirement, someday you will be very glad you did.
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