By Jimmy Miller
What do you think of when you hear the word retirement? Spending your days on a golf course? Doting on your grandchildren? Traveling to your heart’s content? Doing absolutely nothing for the first time in your adult life?
For many, retirement conjures up images of carefree days, no responsibilities, and no schedule. While some eagerly strive for that, others cringe at the thought of no structure or plans. If you find the idea of having nothing to do unappealing, or maybe even flat-out depressing, here’s a new definition of retirement to consider: Retirement doesn’t just mean not working; retirement simply means increased freedom for your time and finances.
Retirement is the much-awaited-for season of life where you have the freedom to make decisions without your job dictating your choices. Gone are the days of stressing over how long you can be gone, how much time you can spend volunteering, or choosing between a vacation and a paycheck. This perspective will open many doors for you if you want to stay busy and active. Here are some possibilities for your unique retirement.
Work Your Dream Job
I’m not talking about the kind of job that most young college graduates dream of, where you have power, money, and influence. I’m talking about that exciting job, the one that makes your heart race when you think about it. A job you’ve always wanted to pursue but didn’t think it could pay the bills.
This kind of dream job could be working as Santa over the holidays, becoming a park ranger, hosting a class in a craft store, or starting a small business. When you are financially independent in retirement, low pay doesn’t have to keep you from taking on a job that you love.
Not everything worth doing generates a paycheck, but that doesn’t matter once you’re retired. Instead of spending long hours doing crossword puzzles, you may find more enjoyment in getting out and giving to your community.
Whether you volunteer by reading to children at your neighborhood elementary school, caring for animals at the local humane society, mentoring young adults coming out of the foster care system, or serving in your family’s church, the opportunities to volunteer are practically endless.
Invest In Your Family
If you ever felt guilty about spending long hours at work instead of with your family, now is the time to make that right. Retirement is the perfect opportunity to invest your time into the younger generations of your family. Be intentional about using this time to get to know your loved ones even better and to create some special memories they will cherish long after you are gone.
Do you have grandchildren in daycare or after-school care programs? Do you think they would be better off with a grandparent than a stranger? Now you have the ability to make that happen! Even if it is only one day a week, your grandchildren will be forever impacted by the time you spend pouring into their young lives.
Strengthen Your Mental Muscles
Did you ever dream of finishing that degree you started or going to law school? This is your chance to do just that. You have room in your schedule and you won’t even have to pay as much as you would have when you were younger. Many states, including Minnesota, offer free or reduced higher-education tuition for seniors.
Also, studies have shown that the more you work your brain as you age, the longer it lasts. Cognitively active seniors with an average age of 80 are 2.6 times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s or dementia than those with less cognitive activity. (1) That’s another great reason to go back to school!
There is a strong correlation between age and successful entrepreneurship, and the numbers are in your favor. (2) Middle-age and older entrepreneurs experience much higher success rates than the younger ones. I guess your hard-earned life experience really does count for something! So, instead of seeing retirement as the end of your working life, it can actually be a rebirth—one where you call the shots.
How We Can Help
Whatever your dream retirement consists of, whether it’s entrepreneurship, grandchildren, or travel, my team at Baobab Wealth Management can help you get there. For over a decade I have been helping people like you successfully invest for retirement and transition from being a wage earner to living off of their savings. If you want an experienced financial professional to guide through these critical years of your life and lead you to a purpose-driven future, schedule a free introductory meeting online and be sure to register for our next webinar, How To Plan For a Secure Income in Retirement.
James Miller is the founder of Baobab Wealth Management, and offers advisory services through Intervest International Inc., an SEC registered investment advisor. With 17 years of experience, Jimmy works with individuals and families to create financial plans that address their individual situations. He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and holds the CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) and the CMFC (Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor) designations from the College for Financial Planning. When not working on a financial plan, you will usually find Jimmy with his wife, Sonja, and his son, Hendrik, or his clients enjoying the great outdoors! Jimmy is an avid fisherman, hunter, scuba diver, mountain climber, sailor, and world traveler! He also enjoys volunteering his time with the Boy Scouts of America as a troop leader. Learn more about Jimmy by connecting with him on LinkedIn.