I’m in my mid 50’s and starting to think, really hard, about what I want my life to look like into the future. I refuse to call it retirement, because to retire means to withdraw from, or to, a place. I have no intention of withdrawing from, or to, anywhere, least of all life. I want to create the life of my future. I want to create a magnificent life.
Currently, my life is a mess! Have you ever felt this way?
It’s not a bad life. I don’t have any massive problems that I’m dealing with. I’m relatively healthy. I have a roof over my head. I don’t have a job, per say, but I’m working on developing an income in some creative ways.
What it comes down to, is this is not the life I want to live. I have minor messes everywhere, physical messes, paperwork messes, and mind messes. My life has become a series of unfinished projects that are stacking up and becoming a blockade to the way I want to live my life.
Does this sound familiar to you? I hope so. I don’t want to be the only one, out of 7 billion people on the face of this earth, facing these dilemmas.
The R word:
I’ve been doing a bit of research into the R (Retirement) word and how I might tame this messy life of mine into the magnificent life I want.
It turns out, that even though we’re preached at, from the day we start working, to prepare ourselves, financially, for the day we stop working, usually at a much older age, unfortunately, very few of us do that. Focusing just on the financial part of retiring isn’t healthy for us at all. There is so much more to many years of not working than having a nice tidy nest egg.
Having that nest egg helps, thats for sure, but the size of the nest egg that will make us feel secure varies, person to person. So working from day one to put a lot of money aside for our future of leisure, may not be the end all to a happy retirement. Determining the type of life style we want to live, and then making sure we have money enough to support it, seems to be the most important part to being happy in our retirement.*
An AIG SunAmerica study found that 60% of those who saved for 25 years or more were extremely satisfied with their retirement situation. Just over half of those who saved for 15-24 years were satisfied. Only 46% of those who saved for 15 years or less were extremely satisfied. What’s interesting here is that the amount of money that was saved didn’t hold the same importance as the length of time it took to save it.** Perhaps it’s the planning and the dreaming that come into play. Could it be the more years we save and plan for retirement, the happier we are when we finally retire, no matter how much money we have at the time?
The older I become the more I know that there is so much more to life than earning a living, or saving for a future living scenario. There is purpose, family, friends, doing fun and interesting things, creative pursuits, and mental, physical, and spiritual health. These things, along with enough money to feel relatively secure, are what will lead me out of my messy life and into my magnificent life.
So where do we begin? First we have to decide just what a magnificent life will look like. I do have to say, I’ve put a LOT of thought into this already. I want to travel. I want to be foot loose and fancy free. I want to go where ever, when ever for as long as I physically can. Having a home base to come back to, isn’t that important to me.
It turns out, I’m not alone in wanting this lifestyle. You’ve probably all heard about the couples who, upon retirement, sold everything, purchased an RV and hit the road for years. I have, too, and that’s where I began my dream research. Along the way, I discovered so many other options to this lifestyle, among those are couch surfing and pet sitting. I‘ll delve into all of these options in later articles. For now, let’s get back to my wanting to be foot loose and fancy free.
After doing a lot of research and discovering so many options for this travel forever dream, and determining that, indeed, it is possible, I took the next step. The To-Do List. This is a list of everything that needs to happen to make my dream a reality.
I’ll be honest, that list is a very scary list. First of all it is every bit of a mile long. Secondly that list contains a lot of hard work, that I am not excited about doing. That list uncovered all of the messes I’ve got going on. So here in, lies the issue. How do I choose what to do first?
After a bit more research, and a bit more thinking, I have decided that for me, the next step is to work on my physical health. Excellent health is one of the basic keys to allowing me to travel the way I want. While I am in good health, I am not in excellent health. So that is where I will begin to clear my blockade to my magnificent life.
No matter your age, I think it’s a good thing to create a picture for yourself of what your future magnificent life will look like. Without that picture, there can be no plan. Without a plan, there is a really strong possibility that you will never have the magnificent life you so richly deserve.
Tell me, what does your future life look like? Please share your thoughts with us.