I hate the word “retirement” even more as I get older and closer to it myself. Why do I hate it? The word itself does not even remotely sound like fun at all. Retire comes from Middle French retirer (“draw back”) or withdraw. Therefore, retirement is the action of withdrawing from your previous endeavors. Yuck!
I have helped many people retire. The successful ones did not withdraw; instead, they exhibited the opposite, as if shot out of a cannon. I prefer “releasement” to “retirement,” but nobody asked for my opinion.
Releasement fits. When you enter releasement, you get released from having to earn a living any longer, allowing you to focus your mind, energy, and time on more important things. When done correctly, this is an amazing, life-changing experience. Work/life balance is no longer a thing as your focus becomes all about life, family, relationships, and activities you genuinely enjoy.
The problem is many people never get to experience releasement in this way. Some, of course, find themselves working until they are too old to truly enjoy the experience. Some work until it’s too late because they never did any planning or investing, so they cannot afford to retire. Don’t let this happen if you can help it. Get with a financial planner and map something out so you can experience the freedom of being released from working for a living.
Many others work too long because they do not really know what else they would do. Business owners, successful salespeople, and accomplished professionals often get trapped by their success. Their work becomes easier and more enjoyable later in life. It is a great problem to have, but it is still a problem. Over time, your mind and body will wear out; your success will fade, and then what? You missed the opportunity to learn, grow, and experience other things.
It is pervasive to hit plateaus later in a successful career, and I believe our success is often to blame for becoming too comfortable with the status quo. I have personally experienced this during my life and career and have seen it often in the planning I do with others.
Are your finances secure? Could you live the rest of your days freely and securely on the money you have saved and invested, yet you are still working? That is okay, but it better be what gives you joy and satisfaction and what pushes you to be the best version of yourself. In other words, do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and make changes later in life. So often I see successful people in their fifties, sixties, seventies and even eighties doing the same thing they always did because it is the easy alternative to a soul-searching adventure into a new realm of life experiences.
We only live once. Make sure you take the time to uncover and discover new paths to joy and fulfillment. If you answered “yes” to the questions above, I would love to engage in a conversation with you so we can share experiences.
Those are my thoughts, have a great Thursday.