Retirement. What does that word mean to you?
From the time we enter our very first career, we are consumed with it. We start to save for retirement, plan for retirement and dream of the day when we reach retirement. I hear so many people say: “I can’t wait until I retire.” And my response is always the same: “WHY?”
My take is that people who look forward to retiring have something in their life they want to do more. They either want to read more or work in the garden more or spend more time with their grandchildren. They want more time to do all the things they can’t do now because of their current job. And for them, retirement is welcomed.
But what about those folks who are forced into retirement. For some reason their current career has come to an end and they’re just not ready for the next phase of their life. What does retirement mean to them?
This happened to me at the age of 63 when I suddenly found out that I had lost my job. I was stunned and confused and scared. Then, for some unknown reason, I decided to try Toastmasters. Just about everyone I talked to said it was a great organization, and since I had the time, I thought: Why not? That was the stepping stone that lead me to my current career as a Professional Speaker. Who knew? It certainly wasn’t something I would have tried if I was still working in my previous job.
So, to those of you who are forced into retirement, I encourage you to see it as a whole new adventure; a whole new beginning. This is your opportunity to explore a new world and try something that brings a smile to your face. It could be cooking or traveling or knitting. Possibly take some classes on the topics that interest you, talk to the people who work in the industry that intrigues you, take that leap of faith and risk trying something new.
Start with baby steps and see where it will lead you. You are about to go on the adventure of your life.