Occasionally we hear from people who say they could never retire because they enjoy their work so much and couldn’t sit around doing nothing all day. They hold a mental picture of boredom and uselessness. Others have the idea that once you retire, that’s it. No more opportunities to make money, to utilize your talents or to be productive. If you do that, well, then you aren’t “retired.”
We’d like to share an email below which we received from someone very engaged in his life, and financial freedom has given him more options to explore his talents.
We couldn’t have said it better.
I am twice retired (Air Force and State of California) and am now actively involved in volunteer work as well as writing/promoting my children’s books. I am also a Massage Therapist after completing my certification in 1997, partly in preparation for post-retirement work.
If I were to share pointers with anyone considering retirement, I would say to find something you really like to do and that you feel you can’t wait to get started at, then jump in with both feet. If you want or need to go back to school, do it. If you are a good organizer, find a group or organization and get to work. If you like running or backpacking or knitting or art or music and haven’t had as much time for fun as you have wanted all these years, now’s the time.
A retiree’s pursuits can be localized and modest or global and massive. It just depends on how you wish to spend your time.
Personally, I worked for 40 years doing things I felt were meaningful. But now I have a blank slate with no real concern for where the next meal is coming from and I can be as creative and engaged as I want to be.
Since retiring, I have hiked Half Dome, was an Assistant Scoutmaster at the 2010 Centennial National Scout Jamboree, completed a six-day/66-mile trek in the High Sierras and have eight children’s picture books published with another six in the publication pipeline. I fully believe I have another 30-40 healthy years in me, which gives me plenty of time to play and to contribute.