Retirement: It’s About Time

Feb 8th, 2011 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Visiting with a former professional colleague the other day, he was struck that I had been retired now for 13 years, having retired at 58.  When we came to the moment to begin consider retiring, it did not appear likely that that step would be viable.  But the more exploring, investigating, and asking questions we did, the more it appeared that our doing so was indeed a real possibility.  Of course, there were some adjustments required.  

Essentially, retirement is about time.  It is about making those choices and decisions which enable you to be in charge of the rest of your life.  It is about doing a careful assessment of all your resources, income projections, possible additional investments, obligations and commitments.  Clearly, having little to no debt is a huge consideration.  And, further, continuing the discipline of not incurring debt is
desirable.  There may be some lifestyle adjustments necessary.  But, remembering that the trade off is to have time to do what you wish, within limits, and recognizing that your time is your own becomes a privilege that inspires you to make those adjustments.

Retiring early has more to do with a close evaluation of how you will spend your time.  Assuming that your budget allows for a reasonable comfort level, the advantages of retiring early will weigh in your favor.  When we began our deliberative  process, we knew there were issues that had to be resolved and made comfortable for each of us.  How would we fare in being able to structure a budget that included not only normal living expenses, but unexpected ones?  What health issues might we need to prepare for?  How much traveling would we be in a position to do?  If we were to relocate and build our dream home, what would be implications that would come into play? Is our portfolio secure enough to be able to feel secure financially? 

It’s about time, additionally, in that you are likely to eliminate stresses and anxieties which contribute to health issues and perhaps even lengthening your longevity.  It’s about time that you can do creative things you have always wanted to have time to do.  It’s about time because you may be able to spend more of it with family without the burden of hurrying back to work.  It’s about time that gives you permission to try out a part time  job, if you wish.  It’s about time to learn to fly fish or become an expert photographer or to build and run your own model trains. 

It’s about time to use your imagination and expand your universe of knowledge, voluntarism, involvements in helping others, giving back to those organizations that gave so much to you.  It’s about time, isn’t it?

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