To those tired and disillusioned with their jobs, retirement means retiring from. But for those who have enjoyed their careers, questions abound regarding what they might retire to. Either way, here are a few ways that may help to define your retirement:
Experiment: Don’t be too narrow in your thinking … but allow yourself the opportunity to experiment with something new before jumping in with both feet. For example, rent the apartment in Tuscany or Memphis before you buy.
Expect insight: The great thing about not having work schedules and deadlines is that you have time to diversify into different activities, discovering what you really enjoy. This could mean volunteer work, new hobbies, new travel adventures or simply enjoying a daily walk.
Expect a little grieving and go with it: Not managing a staff or seeing your buddies at work every day can be a real loss. Your energy won’t be what it was at 55. Give yourself time to get used to inevitable changes. But know that other things will slowly fill this empty space in wonderful and unexpected ways.
Work a little or a lot: Or work in spurts. But if your financial needs call for it, be realistic. And try exciting, new ideas for work. Learn what “retired you” wants and likes. Factor in your responsibilities and any financial or educational hurdles you may need to jump to get where you want to go. Most importantly, know that your definition of retirement is just that, uniquely yours.