I’ve negotiated my way through another of those complex crossroads that western society has chosen to mark with milestones on our way through the world. Those milestone markers can be destructive booby-traps. With this particular milestone comes the multi faceted discussions about retirement, and one of the conversations that keeps coming back, circling around, requiring me to explain the obvious again and again to some people is the chat about the semantic difference in being ‘ready’ to retire, and being ‘prepared’ to retire.
Which are you?
Being ‘ready’ may mean, and perhaps actually does mean no more than that you want to retire, that continuing on with the day-to-day challenges of your world has reached the point that you want a significant change, and that change isn’t just about trading jobs, or playing a complicated game of ‘musical chairs’ at your place of work.
The being ‘prepared’ part is the discussion that really needs to happen so that you and your partner/spouse and family truly understand what retirement is, and what it really means to you and them.
How will you spend your days? Is your financial house in order? Is your emotional house in order?
Me? I’ll admit that I’m ‘ready’ but not ‘prepared’.
I haven’t set up my home to handle my hobbies, and in fact, I’m not ‘prepared‘ to execute on my hobbies. Hell, to be totally honest my hobbies have languished for years. Retirement is NOT the time to reinvigorate them. I’ve got to get back to them before retirement. Why? Its about structure of your world and the financial impact that some ‘hobbies’ can have if you haven’t prepared for them. Yes, the financial impact. For me, financially, things are still a bit dodgy. And then there are the emotion bits.
Emotionally prepared? Wow! That’s a loaded one; If you’ve read any of my other stuff, or know me, you’ll remember that I couldn’t sit at home in forced ‘retirement‘ after the event they labelled a stroke, so why would I think that I’m ready to do it as a lifestyle change everyone wants to call retirement?
I need generous access to people, a sense of purpose, and a place to go on a regular basis. I enjoy putting on the white shirt, and figuring out which tie is most appropriate for the planned activities on a given day. I won’t be one of those who sets a lawn chair out in the driveway and sits to watch the world go by without me. I fully intend to be part of the ebb and flow of the world outside.
More on this as we go along. I have some very strong feelings, which are evolving into opinions, on the subject of preparedness for retirement. And I suppose that I really should get it sorted out. I seem to be skirting the brink of the precipice. It may happen that I get ‘pushed’ sooner than later to make a move.
Stay tuned. it gets interesting after the break. 😉