Mike is a retirement lifestyle planner and author of several books about retirement. His latest publication is “Victory Lap Retirement’. Mike said that with the advent of COVID on our lifestyles, a lot of people are getting a taste of what retirement can bring if there is little planning involved. People are isolated, bored and generally unhappy.
Mike believes that retirement should not be something we just save money for, it should be a time when we transition from our working life into a new life of our own making, where we can do things that we truly love. A time when you get the freedom to do whatever interests you. A time for adventure, a time to help others, a time to get outside your comfort zone. A happy retirement takes planning and work. We need to have savings, so that we can afford the retirement that we would like. Financial security is a cornerstone. But in addition, we also need to be physically fit, healthy and have enough interests to keep us busy full time. Exercise, eating right and having interests outside of our work are things that we need to start early on if we want to be able to enjoy our retirement. Relationships are important as well, we need to ensure that we are on the same page with our partners before retirement. People who are unhappy in retirement usually have only one or two pursuits that interest them. Happy retirees have at least three or four pursuits.
We need to remember that retirement is often thirty years of your life. Sleeping in, golfing and travel can fill some time but we need more than that to keep us busy fulltime. Time slows, days blur together and some people even take to drinking. Having lots of money is not a panacea. People need a sense of purpose. Some people look for something they enjoy doing that can also earn them an income, others volunteer doing work they love. Whatever you choose, it should be challenging, involve some social interaction and give you a sense of fulfillment.
Retirement can last almost as long as your working life, it should be a time to reconnect with ourselves, our family and others. It should be your victory lap that lasts for the second half of your life.