I recently turned 55 and realized that I only had 10 years left to my retirement; meaning the mandated retirement our governments impose upon us. I plan to carry on working if body and mind allow me to.
But I also began thinking of those 10 years and what I could accomplish. What are some of the things from my youth (meaning my 20’s and 30’s) that I wanted to do but never did? Whether because of family or work commitments or even because I let myself get distracted by other things.
I wanted to share some of these things with you today.
Breaking Down the 10
I think that developing my life action plan for the next 10 years will be easier than breaking down an action plan for the rest of my life, like we tend to do when we are younger. On a side note, perhaps this is something that youngsters today should pay more attention to; don’t think that the next 40 years have to be all planned out…take them in smaller chunks.
There is a 12 year difference in age between my wife and I so I will need to plan ahead because I will be retired first and will arguably have a lot of “free time” while I watch her go off to work. But I also don’t want to wait until my retirement day to suddenly realize I need something to do.
Enter the Internet
I doubt this is leaving us any time soon so one may as well jump on the bandwagon and get online. I’ve done that by creating this and other websites but I also am spending more time in social networks, learning how to talk to people and get to know and care about them.
Maybe it’s a guy thing that we’re so terrible at expressing ourselves face-to-face with people, especially those we love. I know that I certainly need to improve in that area.
Here’s something interesting: as I get online and get involved with people’s life’s, social networks and chat rooms, I am finding that I am building great relationships with people I have never met and likely will never meet. This is a great thing to be doing and I am now learning how to let that influence me in my day to day life with those people that I can physically hold and talk to.
Contrary to what many think the internet has value beyond the next get-rich-quick scheme. This value comes from building online relationships and helping one another…because that’s who we are in real life as well.
So my retirement plan includes learning about the internet, even building a business (won’t hurt to have some extra cash for my hobbies). But I want to do it in such a way that I keep the compassionate me online and involved.
Pay It Forward
- What does this mean to you?
- Does it mean “paying somebody back”? For what?
- Sharing something you learned because you know it will help someone else?
These are exactly the things I want to learn to do over the next 10 plus years. Sometimes we seem to be so focused on ourselves, our families, and our careers that we seem to forget the philanthropic or compassionate side of who we are. Maybe sometimes we need to be focused on these “day to day” things but sometimes we do let ourselves forget about the bigger picture that is humanity and our world.
This becomes even more relevant and important as our kids move away from home and we become empty nesters. We now have more time to focus on these other things that will help provide value not only in our days but also to the days of others.
“Cause” In Retirement
Many Baby Boomers take up various causes as we age and this is something that I fully intend to do. Perhaps because of these altruistic intentions we become easy targets for the scammers, not really believing that someone is intentionally out to steal our retirement money.
But don’t let this dissuade you from your goal of finding a cause you can hook your wagon to. Personally, I have always had a desire to help folks, from children to single parents, being a coach and a mentor, and even to understanding “why we’re here” (that’s the philosophical me). But this tells me some of the areas I may want to get involved with.
And sometimes we just need to take risks, step out our our comfort zone when we are looking to get involved with something completely different.
This sub-heading could actually be “Cause In Pre-Retirement”, which is where I’m at and, I say, why wait. I am beginning now to find my cause that will keep me busy and engaged when I actually do retire.
What do you think? What are some good causes that we should be involved with?
- Going green
- World peace (too broad)
- Cleaning up our neighborhood
- Getting involved with our local government…or fighting them
If you have other ideas, I would ask that you leave them in the comments below so others can get inspired and join in on the discussion.
Now 9 Years and 364 Days to Retirement
See how the clock is counting down even as I write? As we get older we are very aware of the time and the fact that our time here is becoming less. And if we haven’t learned life lessons by now, and by this I mean learning to love and care, then we need to get off our keesters and get busy!
We don’t need to wait, nor should we, for our actual retirement day and then expect that we will know how to get involved with others in a meaningful way. This is something that starts now and that I am learning now.
While I have stated in the title that I have 10 years to retirement that does not mean that I keep doing and living the way that I have been if I think I need to make some changes, and I do. What it does mean is that I have been given a wake-up call that the clock is ticking and I had better pay attention.
Sorry I Didn’t Give a 10 Step Plan
Some of you may have clicked on this article because you thought you would be given a 10 step plan to retire rich in 10 years…sorry. While that is part of my plan, you can read it here, this is more about recognizing today that our tomorrows are numbered and how can we make the best use of our time left.
I don’t want to sound dreary or make it sound like the “bell is tolling” but I do want to emphasize that our time…your time and mine…is now!
- To make those changes
- Do those things we’ve always wanted to do
- Look for new ways to make a difference
- Let others learn from our experiences (good and bad)
- Be the change you want to see in the world (Gandhi)
OK, I just gave you 5 steps…you can fill in the other 5.
What are your plans for your imminent retirement?
What are you doing now if you are already retired?
I invite you to leave your comments below and let others know what you are planning and doing, maybe we can brainstorm some ideas together or give someone some advice and support.
I will post all comments (that are appropriate) so others can read and share as well.
Thanks for reading.