Before You Retire, Figure This Out

What are you going to do after you retire?

When it comes to their retirement, one of the biggest mistakes people make has nothing to do with money matters. Most retirees haven’t thought about their mission.

Lets take a moment to reflect

What is your mission? Photo by Wendell (Creative Commons)

Dr. Marc Agronin, author of How We Age: A Doctor’s Journey Into the Heart of Growing Old, says, “A key mistake is thinking about retirement only in financial terms. Too many people spend years fine-tuning their retirement portfolios but neglect to cultivate important personal assets that will give their lives meaning for the 20-to-30 years after they retire.”

While it’s important to make preparations for your retirement, it’s just as, if not more important to think about what you will do with your life once you get there.

Two Plans for Retirement: Leisure vs. Part-Time

Thomas Edison once said, “If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.” The same is true in retirement as in real life.

Chances are you have one of two vague notions in mind for your retirement.

You may be the leisurely type. When you think of retirement, perhaps you imagine a chance to finally rest after a lifetime of hard work. You’ll go out to breakfast with your spouse, take more trips to see your grandchildren, have time to finish those books on your bedside table, and, if you’re really lucky, finally splurge on that ten-day trip in Italy or Hawaii.

On the other hand, you may be the type that says, “I could never quit working. I’d go insane with boredom!” For you, retirement offers the chance to go from full to part-time, or even to finally take on only those jobs you particularly enjoy.

A Third Plan for Retirement: Life Purpose

However, what if there was a third option, what instead of planning for the leisurely or the industrious retirement, you chose to finally live out your life purpose? Too many people default to the two options above because they have buried their true life purpose for so long that they don’t have a clear sense of their life purpose at all.

However, retirement offers a great chance for you to rediscover your deepest passions and finally take steps to live them out.

As Dr. Agronin says, “Longitudinal research points to intellectual and emotional growth as we age. Prior to retirement, then, think about what your mission will be: A new career or creative outlet? Volunteer work? A world record at the Senior Olympics?”

Who knows? It might even pay off.

When clients focus on their life purpose, I’ve found clients can even more money in their retirement years than they made while working full time because they are finally doing what they really want to do. Not only will you be happier, healthier, and more fulfilled, you might decide you never want to “retire for real.”

Why Wait Until You Retire To Live Rich?

If you could spend all your time doing what you love, regardless of whether you were paid for it, what would you do?

In your retirement years, you have time to find out, but why wait until then? Today, after work or before you go to bed, why not spend a few hours planning out your Richlife.

“Don’t plan for the beginning of the end,” Dr. Gronin says, “but for a new beginning in which personal exploration and experimentation will carry the day—or years, rather.”

Let that new beginning start today.

How about you? What are five skills and talents that you feel are innately yours, that you were born with? Share them in the comments section below.

About Beau Henderson

Hi, I’m Beau, and I’m the author of The New Money Mission. My goal is to help you move toward your Rich Life, and to help you create a strong financial foundation for your future. Click here to learn more

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