How often do you think about retirement?
Most of us think about it a lot — at least four times a week.1
We think about when we'll retire and how we'll spend our time in retirement.2,3 As exciting as that can be, it can also be nerve-racking to think about trying to fill up all of that free time.
And no matter what we dream of, the reality of retirement doesn't always match our expectations.1 In fact, nearly half of us miss the mark on when we expect to retire. Most folks who get it wrong end up retiring years earlier than they expected.2 And that's just one miscalculation...
We also tend to underestimate our psychological needs and our options for enjoying our retirement.4 That can make it more difficult to adjust to retirement. It can also leave us feeling unhappy and dissatisfied with the retired life we worked so hard for. So, how can we make better plans and enjoy a truly rewarding retirement?
We can start by stepping outside of the box of convention and considering some alternatives to traditional retirement.
These novel approaches can open up new paths to growth, happiness, and deeper satisfaction in our next phase of life.
"Retirement isn't about crossing some imaginary finish line. It's about carving your own path for the future."
1. Phased Retirement - ease into retirement gradually
With phased retirement you scale back hours, limit your work to certain projects, or work as a consultant. You could become a mentor and pass on your knowledge to the next generation.5 Not all employers offer phased retirement options, but many are finding that this option provides benefits of continuity for teams and increased opportunities for training younger employees.6
Is it right for you? Phased retirement can be ideal if you love your job and want to stay connected to your industry or workplace. This is also attractive if you would like to continue earning some income or retain some benefits while you transition into retirement.
2. Part-time or Seasonal Work - explore new interests/learn new skills
Part-time work gives you the chance to continue earning while minimizing the stress of 9-to-5 employment. There are many opportunities for older workers to pick up part-time jobs these days. In fact, about 2 in 5 people plan to work part-time during retirement.8
Is it right for you? This option may be a good fit if you want to get out of the house, earn a little money, or do something that seems fun.
3. Sabbaticals & Mini-Retirement - step away from work temporarily
Take a long vacation, a few months, or even years away from your job and immerse yourself in something entirely new. Whether you do this once or several times during your career, a sabbatical can give you a change to get some healthy distance from your day-to-day job while you try out something new.
Is it right for you? If you can manage the potential loss of income, a sabbatical can give you a taste of what's to come and offer a preview of a new career, business, or other experience that you could pursue when you retire.
4. Passion Projects - take up a project or pursuit that's deeply motivating
You may want to volunteer to support a cause or organization that you care deeply about. You could learn new skills or join groups that interest you. Your personal interests can replace your career, and keep your time filled with purpose. There are no rules here - you may only be limited by your imagination.
Is it right for you? Any retiree can focus some of their time on activities that they're passionate about. Organizations, charities, and communities benefit greatly from the support of people like you!
5. School Dreams - enroll in college, trade school, or take interesting classes
You could go the traditional route for education, but there are also programs dedicated to learners over 50.9 There are many options - online classes, workshops, in-person classes, etc. Your local community college and library are great sources of information.
Is it right for you? If you want to finish a degree, learn a new skill, or maybe even start another career, this is a great option. Or, maybe you just love to learn in a group setting, if so take steps to be sure you never stop learning.
It's clear there's no one "right" way to retire. What's important is that you make a plan for how you will spend the extra time you have during your "work optional" years!
Tailor your retirement to fit your own needs, meet your personal goals, & live your dreams.
Not sure you can afford to take this next step? Give us a call today!