Most baby boomers are looking forward to retirement. They have worked for many years and are now wanting to reap the benefits of their hard work. But really what is retirement?
Wikipedia says: Retirement is the point where a person stops employment completely.
There was a time when 65 years was the age at which Canadians retired but that began to change in the mid-1980s. The age dropped for about a decade before leveling off. In this century, the retirement age is ranging at about 61.
I have had the privilege of working for amazing companies over the years, Woodwards, The St. Albert Gazette, and Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, just to name a few. The journey starting at my first job at Woodwards has followed me and I still use some of the skills I learned as an layout artist. This was the days before computers, when we hand drew everything.
I did not take the road of the academic but of the creative, learning from others, researching and soaking up everything I could. I struggled with some areas, but thrived at others. I am thankful for all the people along the way who saw something in me, even though I didn’t have the education to back me up. I laugh when I think of the first few months at some of the jobs I had, not knowing the technical part of positions I took on. I really had no desire to create a career, but loved the challenge of learning new skills.
A turning point for me was when I had back surgery in the late 90’s and I was unable to work for about 6 months. Everyday that I lay on the sofa, I wanted so badly to be back working and swore I would never curse Monday morning again.
So I am asking you, why are you looking forward to retirement? Are you preparing yourself ? I am not just talking about the financial part of retirement, I am talking about the mental and the physical part as well. It sounds appealing to not have to get up in the morning or have no objective, but there is also a downside to it. When I left my job in 2008, to work on Fabulous@50, I stuggled with having no set hours, and had a hard time getting motivated. Then I would go to the other extreme and work to all hours of the night. This is a common problem with entrepreneurs that work from home.
I think preparation is necessary for retirement, just like for any other step in our lives.
In my opinion, these are the major principles for creating a fulfilling baby boomer retirement.
1. Have a major life purpose.
2. Be open to learning new things.
3. Accept that money will buy style and comfort, but it won't buy you happiness.
4. Learn how to enjoy solitude.
5. Find a retirement job that you can work at temporarily as a fun job.
6. Maintain old friendships and create new friends.
7. Indulge in regular strenuous exercise so that you will be physically fit and able to enjoy your retirement activities.
I often say to people that I have no desire to retire, that I will always work. But my definition of work is different that some. I love what i do, or I find a way to love what I do. I learn from constantly and see a gift or lesson in the good and the bad. So start doing your homework, read, take courses, now and prepare yourself for your next step, retirement.
If you are looking for inspiration along with a fun day, join me at the 3rd Fabulous@50 Experience on November 5th
at the Mayfield Trade Centre.
Winner of the YWCA Women of Distinction Turning Point Category.