The joy of not working is learning how to live a new life in retirement. It should be a beginning of an exciting chapter of your life. Embrace your passion and plan how to deal with feelings of helplessness, waking up to nothing and having free time surrounded with joy and peace at the end of the day. Retiring to bed full of satisfaction even after having nothing to show for a day well spent basking in the noonday sun should be reason enough to give you joy.
Mr. Alloyse a one time employee of one of the organizations planned so well for his retirement. Armed with all that pertains to a happy retirement, he whistled down the 60thieth Street. He watched as his brand new matatu from the show room majestically halted at the shade right outside his newly built house. He had spent part of his lump sum to acquire the machine ‘the Manyanga’ as it is popularly known in Kenya. That night he slept with a lot of satisfaction and self-esteem. With a ledger under his arm, he stepped out of his beautiful Mansion the following day ready to hit the road in his sleek Manyanga.
The joy of being his own boss, with the time in his hands, that finally he could determine what to do 24/7 filled the environment. His two employees, the driver and the conductor had arrived in readiness to make their maiden trip to start the well thought business – “transport industry’’. The driver kicked the machine in readiness to spine, alass!!!!! There was a miss. ‘Check the engine’ Alloys retorted. The bonnet swung open and the trio gazed into the instruments that make the machine move. To their surprise the engine was missing.
However well you plan for retirement don’t forget to plan for an emergencies fund kit of at least one year’s salary. Prepare for the unexpected and you won’t be caught off guard later. Take time to consider how you’d pay for-respond to everything from minor things like a leak on the roof to serious one like a grave illness. Choose your enterprise well. Consider your energy and judgement as you live on the 60thieth Street, the second last step in life before you make your act of disappearance to Beulah land and you are heard no more.
Retirement comes with different gifts, both beneficial and detrimental. It depends how you use the two as they are the only tools in your hands in your new retirement office.
Nina decided to take early retirement from a public office that was the backbone of her 25 years in employment. For a while she thought she made a mistake and got terrified. There was a shift of mind and for a moment she felt some emptiness like a loss of something that she really loved. As days went by she realised that this was a total different world that she hadn’t known before. There was such peace, beauty all around, people of all kinds, retired and miserable with no reason to face tomorrow and there were those with happy faces beaming with the joy of a new discovery. There were those who embraced retirement and were enjoying their new office that was timeless.
She realised she had to quickly define who she was or else she goes quickly to the last chapter of her life. If you are in your 50s, retirement should be a priority, start thinking how you will close your business at the end of the day and open the following morning or else it will be difficult to open doors and you will be heard no more. Remember you have not been this old before, this means you have less time on earth. Your days of youth are well spent and the sun is quickly setting. It dawned on Nina that the time she had was a valuable commodity and she made a deliberate decision to make retirement the most exciting time of her life. She finally had time to progress her business to the next higher level. Today she is a proud owner of a spare part shop in her county at 60 years old and enjoying her retirement.
Achieving an active and satisfying retirement involves a great more than having adequate financial resources. It encompasses other aspects of life such as interesting leisure activities, creative pursuit, physical and mental well-being; and a solid support system.
Time to appreciate nature
Retirement provides an opportunity to stop and appreciate the world, people, the challenges that come with retirement, see other retirees who are worse than your state. All this make retirement a different environment. You discover there are those wallowing in poverty and those that have embraced the new office, the “60thieth Street’, where together you can tell a story of the years you spent in the office and how hard you worked at your desk oblivious of retirement. On this street together you can decide to enjoy life and form one big well skilled club full of aged wisdom that can be shared to those who care to listen.
The well-aged wisdom is a treasure that any nation can put into use and can be transformed into wealth of great value that can power the economy. However, many countries look at retirees as a spent force, dead wood that is ready to be burnt. Our culture seems allergic to ageing and advertisements avoid the older actors unless the product is targeting them. Instead the media presents young healthy people as experts in every situation, despite their lack of experience. Retirees may look frail, aged and the years may have taken toll on their decision making abilities, but they are full of aged-wisdom.
An ambitious nation should aim not only to tackle poverty in old age but also to offer the majority of its senior citizens the opportunity to realise their aspirations, lead more productive and secure lives; and give back to society through their long acquired skills.
Make retirement the best time of your life. How?
10 points to remember as you plan to retire
- Have a sense of purpose and meaning by making every day meaningful
- Create a retirement plan and stick to it
- Prepare for the unexpected
- Make friends with your future
- Think health and not money
- Trade time for money
- Think big even in retirement
- Volunteer and feel great,
- Enjoy your best exercise. If you love playing piano play to your best. If you love walking walk fast and make it your office
- Those who know what to do in retirement live longer.