Gather up the essentials – your significant other, a crisp glass of chardonnay or a strong cup of coffee, and your imagination – to create your ideal retirement life. This is a wonderful conversation, so prepare to linger over it. The sky is the limit. Don’t be discouraged by incidental problems like a lack of money. Dream big! You can almost always find a way. We’ll talk about that later. The important thing is to figure out exactly what it is you want your ideal retirement life to be.
We’ve had many of these conversations over the years. We usually start by each making a list of what we want to do in the next couple of years. Then we share them with each other and consider how we can make the lists come alive. It was one of those conversations that got us to Florida 15 years before we retired. We knew we wanted to be somewhere warm when we stopped working. Continue reading Retirement 12 – Create your Ideal Retirement Life
Before you begin to plan the nuts and bolts of your ideal retirement, make the life-changing decision to embrace happiness. This may not be as simple as it sounds, but it can be done. So much of how we feel is a decision. Consider the example of Abraham Lincoln.
President Lincoln said that we’re just about as happy as we make up our minds to be. That’s truly amazing when you consider that he suffered from melancholia (clinical depression) and that he had recently lost a beloved son and was responsible for steering the nation through a brutal Civil War.
If Lincoln could decide to be happy, surely we could give it a try! Here are some proven ways to raise our level of happiness.
Begin by being as good to yourself as you’d be to a friend. Most of us tend to be pretty hard on ourselves. Pay yourself first.
Think back to the times that you’ve been far more accepting and forgiving to others in your life than you were to yourself and see if you can’t cut yourself some slack. There’s nothing selfish in that.
Special gifts just for you.
Start by doing things that enrich you – your body, your mind, and your soul. Find things that nurture you and make you feel good about yourself. They can be big things – traveling to South America – or small things – learning to bake the perfect pie!
Increase your self esteem and self confidence.
Applying these gifts to your life will increase your sense of self and your self-confidence. Research echoes these suggestions. Take a look at this excerpt from Psychology Today.
“As we learn better self-care, we become better people in general. When we are in touch with our own feelings, we can then reach out more effectively to others and show love and empathy to them also.
If we are filling our own emotional tanks with self-respect and loving care, we have much more to give to our families, friends, and the world in general.”
How do you discover your authentic self by looking in the mirror? This might seem like a strange question that has little to do with life in retirement, but the answer is revealing because the look we pursue says something about us. It says, “This is the face I’m showing to the world. This is what I want to be.”
For some, it’s professional dye jobs and plastic surgery. For others, it’s the decision to stop all that stuff. I know of one coworker who said if she ever had a car accident just remember that L’Oreal # 56 was her hair color. Another friend said, “I just ignore my wrinkly neck and wear low-necked shirts.
Sensational retirements don’t just happen. They take some planning, and the place to start is with you. Take a little time to think about this and begin by asking yourself some questions to peel back the layers and find the “authentic you.”
Drill deep. It took years of experiences to add those layers and it may take some time to remove the ones you no longer want or need. Write a description of who you believe you are. Link to mind-mapping to try mapping a visual of who you are.
No matter how excited you are about retiring, it represents a major change. Prior to this departure, you knew what was expected and required of you, but here you are in a whole new role. Even though it’s a wonderful role, it’s still change, and that can be daunting.
It’s even more daunting if you don’t want to retire. Before we quit working , I can remember my husband saying that he feared retirement more that death. Wow! That’s an unpleasant comparison.
In either case, retirement demands a significant change to a significant portion of your days, week and years. How will you adjust? How will you maintain your equilibrium and your balance, so that you can make this transition smooth? Take a look at this interesting article about change. Here are some additional suggestions.