Many people who are not retired ask me what I do with my time now that I am retired. I actually have a hard time answering the question. My days are full of different tasks, hobbies, a small part-time business, exercising, and managing our investment portfolio. I jump from one to the other. Also, I don’t hesitate to accept impromptu invitations. I meet for coffee with friends, lunch, or even a beer at the pub.
Finding a Purpose
But the real question is not how do I fill my time, but rather what is my vision for the next 10 years and how will I feel about how I spent the last 10 years of my life. What I do know is that I do not want to work for a company, punch a clock, or answer to a boss. So going back to work is out of the question. Fortunately, I have enough money for retirement so this gives me a lot of freedom.
Do I want to be well known for having volunteered and help a lot of people? Do I want to be known for a low golf score because I went golfing every day? Or do I want to be able to say I traveled a lot and went to many different places? There are a thousand questions and everyone has different questions and interests. Some people will say that all they want is to be near the family and help out as much as they can.
Retirement Vision – More than Money
Most people will focus on making sure they have enough money to retire, however, how can you answer that question if you do not have a vision. If your vision includes going on a lot of expensive trips, then your retirement funds better are rich enough to allow you to enjoy this kind of lifestyle otherwise there will be some disappointment.
Start by listing some of the things that you would like to do during retirement. List what you think will make you feel that you accomplished something in 10 years’ time. List those things that you want to be remembered by. Test your lists against your financial resources to make sure you have sufficient funds to accomplish those items on your list. If not you may have to begin setting priorities and decide which ones you want to consider keeping and those that you may have to downsize or abandon.
This is by far the biggest challenge that you will have as you plan for retirement and even if you are currently in retirement. It is never too late to take on this challenge of developing your own retirement vision.