Most people who came into the last place I had a 9-5 job were looking for advice about the financial aspect of living without a paycheck. I worked for a financial adviser who specialized in retirement planning and part of the questionnaire prospective clients would complete included a section about hobbies and personal interests.
Most people answered in ways that showed they had not thought about it. Some men swore they would go fishing or golfing every single day. (Time for a reality check.) Many of the women said they would be living close to their grandchildren and expected that would fill their time. (Really? You have the energy for that every day?) In reality, hardly anyone had thought about it.
Retirement is more than not going somewhere to work, If you can retire in your 60s, you can assume you have at least 15 years of an active lifetime still ahead of you. That’s a lot of time to do the kinds of things you did not have time to explore before.
In fact, it could provide the opportunity to finally find a job that you love instead of the job you need. My oldest sister, for example, has been a nurse all her life and is about to hang it up. She finds her current job to be a source of high frustration and wants to quit but can’t yet get her head around how to define herself if she is no longer a nurse. I have encouraged her to find something to do that feeds one of her interests. For example, she loves to cook. Perhaps working for a caterer helping with the food prep and maybe even the event activity would suit her.
There are a lot of activities that could enrich your life that will not cost anything. For example, when I lived in Nashville, I did not have the kind of extra money to spend on going to the symphony, and yet wanted to enjoy all the various concerts they offered. By volunteering to help with ticket sales and collection, basically, showing up an hour before a concert, I could attend that concert for free. In Huntington I have volunteered at The Wild Ramp Market which not only gave my day a huge boost with interaction with people but first dibs on great foods. You have to grocery shop anyway; might as well know your farmer!!
Graham and I started planning our move to Oregon about five or six years ago. This included choosing a place to live. Granted, if family lives nearby, people tend to want to stay put. As most of our family does not live nearby, we had more freedom with the decision to move. Many people are so horrified by the concept of packing up and moving that they would prefer to leave the accumulations of a lifetime to their children to wade through. They have essentially been glued into place by “stuff”. I’ve been to many estate sales and generally the main thought I have is “I need to clean my house and get rid of the excess “stuff”.
Many people are flabbergasted that we would pick up and move 2500 miles to a place where we know no one. When they learn my oldest son and one of my sisters live in Oregon, they relax. It seems that they define a place by family, but in reality my sister lives over an hour away and my son has his very own active life. I will see them much more than I do now, but they will not shape my daily life. Perhaps I am not typical but I already have met a number of people in McMinnville and look forward to making new friends there.
This next chapter of my life is yet to unfold…..can’t wait!!
In other words, I am looking forward to what this new adventure will become…..not afraid of leaving the known behind.