Image courtesy of winnond / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
If your answer to that question is, because I have to pee, that’s not what I mean. That’s probably the number one answer to that question. Other answers could be – to get ready for work, or to get into the tasks of the day, whatever those might be for you, or maybe to leave for a much needed vacation. Those are valid answers, but again, not what I mean. We all have to make a living, clean the house, do yard work, take care of others, take care of our health, etc.
What I’m talking about is more related to retirement. We spend most of our adult lives earning a living to support ourselves, and possibly others. Along the way, hopefully we find other things to do that we enjoy. The things I’m talking about are hobbies and activities that may contribute to relieving stress from our busy lives, outside of working for a living and keeping up with activities of daily living.
We typically plan for retirement by looking into the financial aspect. We talk to financial advisers to learn how to invest our hard earned dollars so that when we retire, most commonly as seniors, we have the funds to enjoy our golden years without worrying about how we will pay the bills.
When planning for retirement, what we typically don’t plan for is what we will do with our time. Yes, having money to support ourselves is important, but consider this. You may have a working career that spans forty plus years. There are years of getting up in the morning and going to that 9 to 5 job, either happily or not so much. The years pass faster and faster as you age. You wonder where the time has gone. The kids grow up, go to college, get married, and have kids of their own, all at the pace of what seems like the speed of light. Then one day you wake up, and go to your last day of work; it’s time to retire.
I think most of us don’t really think about what we will do with our time when we retire. We may dream about things we will do, but it’s another thing when it happens and reality hits. It’s actually a shock to our systems when we don’t have to get up every day at a certain time and get into the hustle and bustle of working.
The physical and mental aspects of aging start to work on us. We may not be able to do the things we did when we were younger. Our health may be in decline to factor into this equation. Life-long family members and friends pass away. There are fewer of those of our generation that we can relate to. These factors could be difficult to come to terms with for many.
Unfortunately none of us has a crystal ball, so we don’t actually know what condition our health will be, but it’s still a good idea to make a plan. Planning for retirement needs to include what you will do with your time. It needs to be something you enjoy that you can do for many years to come. Part of that plan should also include either living in a retirement community at some point, or getting involved with a nearby senior center; a place where you can interact with others of your generation. You need a reason to get out of bed in the morning, other than having to pee.