Incremental Retirement: Is It For You?

Feb 16th, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

This column is dedicated to those of my friends who just won’t retire. They are ambitiously alive. They stay busy. They love what they do. They are not putting off retirement because of economic issues. They either own their business or are in a situation in which their business gives them so much permission that the business can do quite well without them. That is, of course, a fortunate place to be.

They are in, what I would label, incremental retirement. They are doing it in stages. For the most part, they don’t keep rigid or strict hours. They are fully aware of what’s going on in their business, but they don’t obsess over it. One of my dearest friends is, at 70, building a new office and expanding his business. It is not to “make more money” for himself. He gives it all away to his family and causes he believes in.

Another of my friends travels a great deal, sometime in a humongous motor home. He is quite well off, but he chases around Texas doing what he does for his business.

Still another is a retired judge, but still a practicing lawyer. He and his spouse spend enormous time enjoying themselves with frequent travel forays and maintain an elegant antebellum home in East Texas. When home, he still keeps a busy roster of clients.

Incremental Retirement, whether continuing to pursue business or professional interests, is a healthy way to retire. It doesn’t have to happen all at once. One need not surrender the things of ones previous life all at once. Keeping up with events and excitement in ones “career” world is a healthy way to stimulate body, mind and soul.

Incremental Retirement means you may do it on your own terms. You can plan to have a 3 month hiatus, while the wheels keep turning. You can generate new excitement and energy for living. You can even expand your career interests in ways that will provide further for family, charity, a foundation, and a life of absolute satisfaction.

So, look at Incremental Retirement, if you are fortunate like these, which may round out your life in enormously gratifying ways.



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