By Paul S. McNulty, CFP®
When you hear the word retirement, what thoughts and emotions tend to come to mind? Do you have hopes of getting that vacation home and heading south for the winter? Are you eager to get out into the world and travel, sightseeing as you please? Or do you desire to take a more laid-back approach, taking advantage of your hard-earned right to sleep in as late as you want?
As we daydream about our golden years, many of us see our retirement plans and goals consisting mostly of lazy days, no responsibilities, and no schedule. And rightfully so, as doing absolutely nothing for the first time in your adult life is definitely a well-earned reward some eagerly strive for. However, there are many others that find themselves a bit disenchanted by the thought of having nothing to do, as they find themselves equating the lack of responsibility to having no purpose.
This impending change of pace may have you feeling distraught, or even downright depressed, at the idea of having nothing to do after your career ends. We at Boston Metro Advisor don’t want that for you, so we would like to suggest a new definition for retirement. Retirement doesn’t have to mean you relinquish and withdraw from social significance. Retirement simply means you now have increased freedom for how you spend your time and finances.
They aren’t referred to as the golden years for nothing. Retirement is a season of life where your job no longer dictates what you can and can’t do, giving you the freedom to make decisions without the restrictions of your current daily grind. The days of stressing over how long you can be gone, being forced to limit your volunteering, or choosing between a vacation and a paycheck are finally over. Embracing this positive outlook will help open doors and even create many ways for you to remain active—or even become more active—if you choose to do so. Here are some possibilities you may not have thought of.
Work Your Dream Job
That phrase, “dream job,” often leads us to think like most young college graduates, who tend to shoot for a career offering power, money, and influence. In that stage of life, that kind of vigor can serve you well. However, when planning for your post-retirement enjoyment, it’s likely best to avoid that lane of thought. In this next stage of life, think about the job that excites you, the one you are passionate about. You know, that one about which you have always said, “I’d love to do that, but there’s no way it could pay the bills.” This is your golden opportunity to choose want over need!
Whether it be coaching a team, becoming a park ranger, hosting a class in a craft store, or maybe even running a niche catering service, a dream job is something you do for joy rather than money. When you are financially independent, as in retirement, low or infrequent pay is no longer a factor keeping you from taking on a job that you truly love.
Money may make the world go round, but not everything worth doing in life results in a paycheck. Luckily, that doesn’t matter once you’re retired! If the thought of spending long hours at home causes you to shudder, but taking a job doesn’t appeal to you, getting out and giving to your community may be the perfect active, yet commitment-free, solution for you.
Whether you volunteer by reading to children at your neighborhood children’s hospital, caring for animals at the local humane society, helping at your local food bank, or serving in your family’s church, the wonderful opportunities to volunteer are virtually endless.
Devote Yourself To Family
During your career, did you ever regret having to spend long hours at work instead of with your family? Well, now is the time to turn that around. Retirement is the perfect opportunity to invest your time pouring into your family more than you ever could before. You can now make yourself available as an invaluable support to your children as they navigate their challenging midlife years. Take one-on-one day trips with a different family member each month. Set up coffee dates with your siblings. Be intentional about using this time to get to know your loved ones even better and to create some special memories they will cherish long after you are gone.
Do you have grandchildren in daycare or after-school care programs? Do you think they would be better off with family during these times? Now you have the ability to make that happen! Many of us still hold onto fond memories of Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Even if it is only one day a week, your grandchildren will be forever impacted by the time you spend pouring into their young lives. The gift of your time, presence, and wisdom is priceless.
Do you have an unfinished degree you’ve been dreaming of completing? How about a specialized course you’ve always wanted to take? Well, now is the time! Your retirement has made plenty of room in your schedule. And the cherry on top, you won’t even have to pay as much as you would have when you were younger. Many states offer free or reduced higher-education tuition for seniors.
Furthermore, studies have shown that the more you work your brain as you age, the longer it lasts. Cognitively active seniors with an average age of 80 are 2.6 times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s or dementia than those with less cognitive activity. (1) If you weren’t sure about taking that class, this is just one of many great reasons to go back to school!
There is a notable correlation between age and entrepreneurship, and the numbers are in your favor. (2) Middle-aged and older entrepreneurs experience much higher success rates than those who are younger. Looks like your hard-earned life experience really does count for something! So, instead of seeing retirement as the end of your working life, it can actually be a rebirth—and this time you call the shots.
How We Can Help
Entrepreneurship, time with grandchildren, frequent travel, or whatever your dream retirement may include, we are ready to help you get there. For over 20 years now, Boston Metro Advisor has been helping people like you maintain their standard of living during retirement and even leave a legacy to their loved ones. If you would like the guidance of an experienced professional through these critical years, contact us for a complimentary consultation by calling (781) 995-0253 or email me directly at [email protected] today!
Paul McNulty is the founder of Boston Metro Advisor with over 20 years of experience helping people navigate the ups and downs of the economy toward the financial future they envision. His education consists of a Bachelor of Science in business administration from the University of Rhode Island and the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) professional designation.
Paul’s experience and education have made him a multi-faceted professional capable of assisting people with virtually all their financial needs. His services include every facet of retirement planning, from 401(k) rollover services and income planning to wealth management and estate planning. Paul has been active in his community over the years as a youth sports coach. When he’s not spending time with his wife, Cindy, and their two children, who are both recent college graduates, Paul enjoys reading, playing golf, and fishing. Learn more about Paul by connecting with him on LinkedIn.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.