We are at the point of “exploring” retirement. We talk about it, think about it, daydream about it. It is exciting to know that we can do whatever we want (mostly!) We read/hear/see others talk about “second act”, “a new chapter”, “the best is yet to come”, etc. We prefer to call it Freedom.
This exploration certainly includes financials, but all that being in place, the “what do we do all day” looms larger. Zaf had retired once, about 10 years ago. His new schedule was golf two times a week. One day a week he would jump on his Harley head for the Santa Monica Mountains. It was relaxing for him, but I had the cell phone glued to my ear all day long wondering if/when it would ring with an “accident” report. The other days he would be on his computer till 11:00 am, in his robe! The list of chores was on his desk, but it was slow going. 😊 This routine lasted about 3 months; golf was not so interesting any more and the bike was safe and warm in the garage. It was time to re-think this retirement thing.
All the subtle hints I gave him about how retirement without a plan is depressing, how it’s fattening if you sit around all day, how its aging you quickly, etc. made no impact. I repeated quite often that you have to have a purpose when you wake up each morning – something to do and/or someplace to go. I pointed out several friends who retired and were miserable. He agreed but seemed paralyzed as to what to do.
Using the Internet, I found a part-time job that was right up his alley. From 9 to 1, 5 days a week, about 25 minutes from the house. I printed it out and placed it on his desk saying: “I think these people need you.” He sighed, he called, he got the job…a new man emerged. That was a perfect gig for him; it opened new doors and currently is working in his field at a full-time job that he absolutely loves.
I continue to work. I truly love what I do, work at home and have a very flexible schedule. It hasn’t always been that way of course; I had to build my business and get it to the point where it is today. 95% of the work I do is online allowing me to work in my shorts and a tee shirt, drink hot/cold drinks all day long and take an afternoon nap! Zaf had to be trained not to call me between 1 and 3!
Retirement for Zaf is: “I’m done! And really mean it this time!” Retirement for me is: “Okay, I’ll work at 50% until my brain gives out”. I like staying busy and enjoy working with my clients (some of them 😊) so since I can do it from anywhere in the world where there is Internet, why not continue? More money = more travel!
That’s the beauty of retirement – we can design it, shape it, create it to our own liking. The one thing that we do agree on is our love of travel…and that will be our focus!
We are on it!
Zaf Practicing his Retirement Photograph from Personal Collection of Helene and Zaf
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