Retirement as the ultimate middle life crisis opportunity
Like it or not, retiring is like a life's way of kicking you in the backside. You are not a spring chicken, occasionally your back hurts, often you find yourself entertained but bored and there are lot of signs that you are unprepared for retirement emotionally. However the best way to approach retirement as a world of opportunities. As middle life crisis looms, it may be helpful to prepare for retirement regardless of your age.
Forget terrorism, coronary heart decease and street thugs - retirement is the biggest killer in the western world
Some research has found that in NY area, a half of men who retired after the age of 60 die within two years. So retirement is a big factor in terms of well being for a number of reasons and it is important to tackle them. Not just for the health reasons, but for spice and quality of life.
Many men and women fall into the retirement booby trap by giving up on themselves and their life. That is unproductive and unwise. Having a lot of free time is a massive bonus, whilst having less financial flexibility is a minor disadvantage.
Lets assess the pros and cons of retirement
More free time:
If time is a precious commodity then the retirees are very rich indeed. No doubt about it, having plenty of free time is a massive bonus yet it is massively underused by retirees or completely wasted in some cases.
More free time means more flexibility. You've got bags of experience, you've got steady income - the world is at your feet (although you can't run as fast as you used to) still you can explore the joys of the world at a steady pace. Some things in life at this stage might be stigmatically uncool for your age such as hardcore clubbing, but you're bored of it anyway so no loss. There is a lot of culture to explore and a lot of new people to meet, new experiences to taste joyfully.
You're getting less money but at least it is stable income. Depending on the terms of your pension, still the amounts coming in should be more than enough with careful planning.
Right, the cash you get is less than you did, but that's manageable not that there are less expenses and more free time. Life is not about money anyway.
Maturity means that what was fun for you 20 years ago is not as fun anymore. Maturity doesn't mean austerity though. So don't forget to have a laugh.
Being Ready for retirement
Retiring is like a life's way of kicking you in the backside. You are not a spring chicken, occasionally your back hurts, often you find yourself entertained but bored and there are lot of signs that you are unprepared for retirement. Emotionally one needs to approach retirement as a world of opportunities.
Many things changes come the retirement, which is bound to happen at some stage, here are a few tips on what to do and how to go about it, preparing for a life changing twist in terms of emotions. The first few weeks may feel like an extended holiday but the feeling will wear off.
First of all, often what we do, our vocation or our profession defines us as individuals. A baker or a policeman when he retires becomes. A retired baker or retired policeman. A feeling of loss of self-worth or a loss of identity is common but there is more that defines you as a person, your profession is a part of what you can do, retirement means that you've got pretty good at what you were doing, so it is time to let others have a go. Retirement is a chance to be redefined and refined or even a chance to enjoy a fresh start. Think of ways in which this can be achieved.
Some of us have not only spent the last few years working hard but working so hard that there are only a few things that we know aside from work. In fact, when one thinks of a term "middle life crisis", the situation where the work that you do defines you and consumes you is as close as it gets to the description of middle life crisis. Think of ways to get away from work.
Once you finish work you could still continue doing things you really enjoy, luckily today you can do a lot of things as a freelancer.
3. Family life.
Grandparents by this time are expected to babysit the juniors. This is by no means an obligation, you've not spent your working life and made a career to babysit, so perhaps this is an opportunity to politely go away on a holiday. Occasionally it could be great but only if you want to. The adult sons and daughters sometimes take too much time and attention, and drain financial resources and maybe it would be better to let them make it on their own. They are probably just being lazy and need a kick in the backside to grow a backbone and learn some discipline.
Be cautious when approaching retirement, if you overdo something that you enjoy it may become dull and unrewarding. For example if you're a golfer and you spend every sunny afternoon on a golf course, you will eventually become bored. It is better to enjoy hobbies that you have more time for in moderation, perhaps trying new ways to enjoy free time.
Divorces happen at this time, pre-retirement is time for disagreements. Be flexible, there is no need to argue and debate, you can discuss things instead.
Tips for retirement and preparing fore retirement
Financially speaking retirement should not mean steady money but less of it, one needs to remember that there are a lot of destinations out there where weather is better and life is cheaper. Consider moving away from your home or traveling abroad. After all nothing gives as much excitement and challenge as traveling. You can see the whole world after retiring, you can go mountaineering, go deep sea fishing in Mediterranean , trekking across Mongolia, tango dancing in Argentina, visiting Ernesto Guevara Museum in Cuba, walking through the Hermitage in St-Petersburg and swimming in the Dead sea. You may not be looking for 5 star hotels, but just for a cheap way to get to an interesting place, tours cruises are all available. Google destinations, then go check them out!!! Internet forums will show you a variety of expat communities all over the world and they can be a good place to start searching for something.
The financial system is global and you can access your account from anywhere. There is always something to see abroad. Start planning what you wish to see before you retire and research the destinations.
Look after your health:
Now you have more free time and there should be no excuses for not trying to stay healthy. A good diet, a good set of exercises every morning and a bit of time spent productively on researching health topics from blood pressure to malaria (if you're traveling for example) just to be prepared just in case. Read about and act upon physical and mental health and look after your loved ones. But don't hoard on the medical journals, how are you to enjoy life if you bore down to healthy lifestyle?
A better climate, a positive outlook on life would contribute to your well being and would negate the likelihood of suffering from a middle life crisis.
Many of the great writers, poets, musicians and artists didn't start developing their creative side until their more mature years and retirement is an opportunity to indulge in creativity. More free time, lots of experience, so instead of falling into a retirement booby trap one could create a masterpiece. Everyone thought at some stage of writing a novel, but not many have. Everyone has thought of drawing a self portrait, but not many have. And so on. You will enjoy the process regardless of result, and the result may surprise you, you'll be asking yourself why have you not tried it before. As the front page of this website says, middle life crisis is a world of opportunities, retirement even more so.