What Does Retirement Mean To You

Can you finish this sentence, “When I retire, …..” How many of you see yourself living where you do now? It seems to me most people see themselves somewhere else. Just about the time the first snowflakes fall, the commercials begin with happy people all active, enjoying the sunshine and smiling reminding us we too could be there. You cannot help at any age to aspire to that lifestyle. Perhaps our culture has ingrained us to be sensible, save and work hard so that we can enjoy retirement. I think there is definitely truth to that but I also think that in light our current economy many people are evaluating their financial situation, the personal passions, and what they want their future to be. I would also argue that in the age of technology, flex-time and working remotely, many people are seeking their “retirement” location well before they can actually retire. Like who you might ask? I took a yoga class from a woman in Florida and asked her how long she had been teaching. She said when she got divorced a few years ago she thought long and hard about her future. She and her kids always loved Florida. Beyond the warmth and beaches her kids were avid tennis players and she had various jobs over the years but recently developed a passion for yoga. They decided to pick up and move and pursue what each of them loved best knowing it meant making some financial cutbacks. They chose to make their active lifestyle a priority even if it meant cutting back in places. I think stories like these are the silver lining to bad economic times. People step back, evaluate what is important to them, sometimes temper their expectations, sometimes raise them, but ultimately realize that we don’t have complete control over everything. Do what makes you happy, keeps you healthy, and provides for you.

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