Don’t Flunk at Retirement
A quality, satisfying retirement doesn’t just happen. While you are working, a thought of leisure time seems wonderful. Yet when all you have is leisure time, it isn’t as satisfying. A little planning, can make your retirement years fulfilling. However, the good thing about leisure time- you have the time to follow your passions. Don’t wait until retirement to begin exploring new interests. Exploring your interests now while you are working makes the transition into retirement smoother.
Ask yourself- what dreams or projects have you set aside? What hobbies have you let go? Have you created a bucket list? Discovering what you are interested in or passionate about may take some nurturing. If you have been on the wheel of life- doing a job; raising a family- you may have stuffed down your own interests and desires. You may be in survivor mode. It is time to dream- give passion room to grow.
In you’re dreaming- remove money from the equation. Focus on what brings pleasure, what do you enjoy doing; what would you like to try? Once you have some possibilities, you can think about the how. Worrying about the money drains creativity and blocks your brainstorming.
Talk with your friends and family. What do they see as your natural giftings? What do you do well? What do they believe makes you happy? My sister had left HR in the business world. She got tired of hearing adults whine. She had the opportunity to substitute at the private school where her kids attend. Her family saw how much she enjoyed teaching children. In Virginia, if you have a bachelor’s degree, you have a short journey to get a teacher’s certification. Now 10 years later she’s still teaching at the same school, and loving it.
Who is doing what you want to do? Who is your professional hero? Read about their life. How did they get started? What obstacles did they encounter? There are unlimited resources in books, blogs, and articles that can help you. Personally, I listen to CDs on my 45-minute commute to the office. I’m always in the learning mode.
Don’t go it alone- find others pursuing similar passions. Check out Meet-up or Reddit. Both have groups on a wide range of interests and passions. Leverage social media to find groups or forums on your interest. You can learn from others experience. I encourage you to pursue what you are passionate about. If that requires a job change, seek the help of a career counselor. (http://yourfulfillinglife.com/)
Resources that can help you make a connection in your community are:
www.volunteermatch.org They match you with a non-profit needing your skills and matching your interests.
www.nationalservice.gov/programs/seniorcorps Senior volunteers over 55 helping with social issues like foster grandparents and senior companions.
www.encore.org is more paid opportunities to do short term, temporary assignments.
Retirement is an encore- more to your own design. You have skills and talents that are valuable to the community. Many non-profits and schools can use your skill set. As my neighbor says, “I have retired from my job but not my profession.”
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