By the time my father passed away a few years ago, he had retired at least 4 times. He never did think of retirement as a goal or dream. His Christian beliefs suggested to him that his retirement benefits would be received in the life to come.
Though older age comes with certain struggles (unwelcome physical changes, forgetting why we walked into the living room, etc.) there are advantages to being at or near our classic retirement age, which appears to be a moving target as we Boomers are putting more pressure on Social Security:
• You are not expected to run…anywhere
• You get discounts at restaurants, theaters, and amusement parks
• The fashion statements you make are not because you need to impress anyone
• You are closer to all those life insurance premiums paying off
Retirement should not be about slowing down but about changing lanes and shifting gears, that is, engaging in meaningful, transformative efforts…
There are at least three things those who are over 60 should always be doing:
1. Learning and Growing
There is no room in a person’s life to think she has fully maximized her potential and cannot improve further, no matter what age or what level of achievement. Read, think, discuss.
2. Giving and Serving
Fixed incomes are no excuse for not giving. Physical limitations may narrow the options for serving. I am well beyond the time when I could help with a student all-nighter. But, we can give and serve for the sake of someone else.
3. Mentoring and Coaching
Wisdom most often comes by having made mistakes resulting in lessons learned. For those in generations coming behind who are at least wise enough to learn from our hard-earned lessons, the generation going before can make a valuable contribution.
I have said for many years that I was not interested in retirement. But I DO like the idea of more and longer vacations. Retirement should not be about slowing down but about changing lanes and shifting gears, that is, engaging in meaningful, transformative efforts that may not be exactly the same as they were 10 or 20 years ago.
Maybe we have to go slower, or maybe a different pace would have been better from the start.
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