Enjoying a Great Retirement–Before You RetireBy
“Love life. Be grateful for it always. And show your gratitude by not shying away from its challenges. Try always to live a little bit beyond your capacities. You’ll find that you never succeed.” Arthur Gordon
Last summer I received an email that a friend, I had grown up with, was dying of cancer. I was shocked. He was in great shape, looked a lot like he did in high school when we all swam competitively. He ate right, exercised regularly, lived in the mountains half the time. Of all of my buddies I figured he would be the pall bearer for all of us. He had whipped cancer two years before but now it was back and virulent.
He died last week at 61. Way too young.
I thought about his life. He’d retired early and lived to the fullest. He was involved in high tech companies, made a lot of money in Silicon Valley, then sold in 2000. He built a mountain home at Huntington Lake, in the central Sierras, where we had all spent our summers and split his time between living there and the Bay area.
He was a certified scuba instructor and traveled all over the world to dive. He loved skiing and pursued it avidly in the Sierras, Rockies and Alps.
After he retired he become an EMT and served on the Huntington Lake volunteer fire department.
He was married and had two daughters who loved him who are both grown and in good careers.
So his life ended too soon but he had lived fully the years he had.
What about you? Are you truly living? Accomplishing your dreams? Enjoying life? Do you spend time with the people you love everyday? Are you living your dream now or putting it off to some nebulous time called “retirement?”
But you say, “You don’t understand my situation. I have to work long hours just to provide for my family. I don’t have time to think about these things. I don’t even know if I will retire.”
Great! Then you have no reason to put off living.
Scripture says, “So teach us to consider our mortality, so that we might live wisely.” (Psalm 90:12 NET)
Think about how fast life goes by. We all anticipate living to a rich old age but there’s no guarantee. We have no time to waste. We need to live each day to its fullest so no matter how many we have we can look back and realize we lived richly.
So what do you do? How can you start living like you’re retired right now?
First, treasure each day as a gift. God has given you 24 hours of opportunity. There’s not one minute to waste. So where are you wasting time? Prune it out.
Second, each day take one step towards accomplishing your dreams. Read a book. Learn a skill. Perfect a hobby you could turn into a career.
Third, buy yourself more time. Get healthy. Stop smoking. Eat right. Exercise.
Fourth, spend time everyday with the ones you love. Don’t wait. Never put it off.
Fifth, daily set aside time for prayer and meditation. Ask God to guide and bless you. Then quiet your heart and mind so you can hear what he answers. See where he leads.
Sixth, get outside yourself. Volunteer in a church or other non-profit organization. Get your focus onto helping others.
Seventh, have fun. Take a trip even for a weekend. Laugh everyday. Be silly sometimes. Enjoy life.
Wow, that sounds a lot like retirement! What else do you need? You have friends, family, health, travel, fun, interesting and meaningful things to do. What else were you planning for your retirement? And the beauty is you can start now. In fact, by the time you’re 65, you may be having so much fun you’ll decide to skip the other retirement all together. Hey, that’s better for you anyway.
So what’s holding you back? Start today. Reread those seven steps. As you pray and ask for guidance more direction will come.
You may be saying, “I can’t do all that right now.”
Fine, start with part of it. Build it up a little at a time until you’re living it all.
You really can live a full retirement starting now. Why put it off?
Let me know what you discover.
If this post helped you please let me know and share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and email. I would appreciate it. D
Douglas Armey, the LPL Financial adviser associated with this website, practices in Fresno, California and may discuss and/or transact business only with residents of the following states: California, Idaho and Oregon.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing. All performance reference is historical and is no guarantee of future results.