We’ve all heard the old saying “If you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you get there?” This saying is extremely apt when it comes to thinking about your retirement.
So it might be a good time to ask yourself a few questions to help define your retirement in clearer terms:
- What does ‘being retired’ mean to you?
- What would an average week in retirement look like for you five years from now?
- What challenges do you see along the way?
- What fears do you have about this next phase of life?
- What would you like to accomplish for yourself?
Your retirement will be very different from that of your parents. But it will also be different from that of your friends, colleagues, or the people next door. You need to define your retirement in your own terms, not what the experts – or your mates – say.
You also need to realise that retirement is a transition, not a destination! Most retiring baby boomers can expect to be ‘in retirement’ for at least 20 or 25 years – a long time in anyone’s language.
None of us can truly control what those years will be bring, but we can control our attitude to them. The reality is that true zest for life comes from within and can best be nurtured by looking closely at your attitudes and view of life, in order to discover the parts that may require some change and intentional rethinking.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
If you are going to make a commitment to live each day to its fullest, you will want to define what that means. Here are some points to consider:
- Why do you want to get out of bed in the morning?
- If you’ve made the commitment to challenge yourself to do new things or to learn new things, what kinds of challenges will make you feel good about who you are?
- What gives meaning and purpose to your life? When you assess and claim your values and sense of purpose for the future, you move toward happiness—and seize the opportunity to leave a meaningful personal legacy.
- The key is aligning your personal purpose, vision, and values with the activities and goals you choose to act on. With this alignment, your achievements will bring you real happiness—quite a different feeling from working to satisfy someone else’s value system.
If you’d like to check just how much you really do understand about this phase of life, take this quick quiz. You might be surprised at some of the answers!