What first got me thinking more about retirement in a new light – was an article in US News & World, entitled, “11 Health Habits that Will Help You Live to 100“. Quite an interesting post title huh?
Guess #1 on their list? Ready?
- Don't retire.
Not exactly good news huh? At first, I didn't think so either – until I kept reading.
“Evidence shows that in societies where people stop working abruptly, the incidence of obesity and chronic disease skyrockets after retirement,” says Luigi Ferrucci, director of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging.
So, I guess the number one reason why I probably won't retire is pretty simple. I don't wanna die early.
Now, I hate to be a Debbie Downer here – and that is certainly not my aim in writing this. My purpose is to show retirement in another light. Maybe one that you (and I) haven't really considered.
While the definition of retirement is a pretty broad one. My stereotypical vision of it is playing golf all day long and then going for a swim in the retirement village pool. Is yours close?
But I think retirement is meant to be so much more important and transformative. I don't think we should all sit back and chill. I think it's a time where we start giving back.
In his book, Halftime: Changing Your Game Plan from Success to Significance, Bob Buford talks about how the first “half” of our lives is spent taking or accumulating (money, success, etc). He proposes the second half of ones life ought to be spent on giving or significance.
Something feels right about what he is saying. And so, I decided to start a list of some things I may consider doing in my non-retirement years.
This will no doubt pay some bills – but at the same time – I'll be able to give back by way of transferring my expertise that I've learned over my lifetime to folks in my field (provided they wanna hear from an old fart).
Become a mentor
I think I would really enjoy this one. So many young folks are just aching to have an older adult take them under their wing and provide direction.
Become a philanthropist
Why not? Two of the world's richest men are. I think it would be fun to see the money I've earned being provided to fund people and organizations that are near to my heart.
There are so many places to offer ones service/time.
I could see having a part-time job in retirement. And, I don't think I'd mind it much. Right now I'm thinking of Wal-Mart greeter or cutting grass at a golf course.
Or even – start a second career
I love what I do now – but I have other things that I'd also like to devote my time to that are more (what's the best way to say this)… serving the greater good? I think people in ministry and social service are good examples.
There is something about having a purpose and mission in life. And – I think – too often those things go missing in retirement.
So, during my last half – I hope to be warming hearts – instead of warming a couch. ;)