After Your Retirement Party

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Jake was a highly successful upper-level manager in the automotive business. He was the manager of a very large division and well-respected. His whole identity and self-worth were related to his position at work. Jake was a workaholic. He worked long hours and had no outside interests and took few vacations. He and his wife, Lynn, didn’t have children, so their whole focus was on work and themselves. They were estranged from their relatives, as they never had time for vacations nor did they take time to attend family reunions. 

Lynn was proud of her beautiful home, her antique car, and her expensive “stuff.” Jake was proud of his position at work; however, his division was reorganized and he was involuntarily retired. Jake had no plans for what he was going to do during his retirement, so he did just that—nothing. Is that the kind of life you want when you retire? We hope not, so let’s get some retirement goal ideas flowing!

Are you planning to retire some day? If so, make sure it happens the way you want it to. Take a moment to visualize what you’ll be doing after the retirement party. Statistics show that most people live quite a long time after their retirement party. 

Women, especially, must plan to live at least to the age of ninety! You must plan to live at least seven years longer than your mother. Some of you need to plan to live for a century. Be thankful for your great genes! What do you want to do for the second half of your life? What lifestyle will make you content? Remember, earthly possessions will stay here when you die, as you take nothing tangible to eternity, so your legacy, contentment and happiness are not about your “stuff.”  

Quickly draw a sketch of what you want your future retirement to look like. There is only one rule: You must dream big! What do you really want to do when you retire? Yes, think about the very best retirement you can imagine! Are you sailing, traveling, reading books, gardening, moving to a different home, spending more time with family, volunteering, living in the same home you are in now, etc.?  Everyone’s picture will be different, as we are all unique with unique dreams. Your retirement preparation will also be unique.

You can change your retirement “dream” picture every day if you like, but start dreaming and figuring out what you want to do during your retirement years. Or you might dream about not fully retiring, but just changing careers—the choice is yours! You must look at your future retirement head-on and face reality. Every day you are getting older, and the time you have left on earth gets shorter. Your best asset is your health, so take good care of yourself and use your time wisely.

Start talking, thinking, dreaming, and sharing your retirement dreams! Talk to your spouse, your children, and your friends—discover and be aware of your own feelings. 

Written by: Maria J. Wordhouse Kuitula and Phyllis J. Veltman Wordhouse, free market wealth and stewardship coaches, co-authored the book Stress-Free Investing, available at Amazon.com. Maria is the president of Wordhouse Wealth Coaching and may be reached at 616-460-6518 or  [email protected]. For QUESTION LISTS and INVESTOR EDUCATION VIDEOS, go to www.WordhouseWealthCoaching.com.  © Wordhouse Kuitula 2013. Photo: stock.xchng

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