Why I Probably Won’t Retire

aaronNow I'm not looking to cause any trouble here with this post. I've just been contemplating this one lately.

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?

  1. 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.

Work part-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. ;)

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  1. My dad has been retired for about 8 years and the first few days were difficult for him. He loves golfing, does that at least once a week but every time I talk to him, he tells me he is more busy now that he is retired than he ever was working. He has done more house projects, visiting relatives, and the like in the last 8 years than he ever did while he was working. Currently, my mother and my father are in Australia as missionaries for our church – trying to be a positive influence in another part of the world. I think they have made and will continue to make their retirement satisfying and I agree – golfing 24/7 or going on a cruise for 365 days of the year although it may sound ideal will probably not let a lot of fulfillment in the retirement years. Thanks for your post – I think we all idolize about how awesome it will be when we retire when the fact is, we have it really good keeping our minds and bodies active in what we are doing right now!

    • Ah.. sounds like one of my brothers who is retired. He is always doing something! It’s awesome how your dad is spending his retirement years. Anything done for the Kingdom is never wasted!

  2. I have a feeling that in those instances, the people that retired stopped living active lives. I want to retire early, but I want to definitely volunteer, stay active, find something to do on the side besides just enjoying life .I don’t envision myself hanging out at home, I think I’ll probably travel and hang out with my grandkids, volunteer and join groups/committees.

    • Yeah – I would agree Daisy. It’s just an odd statistic though. I do know of a couple instances personally where a person has died shortly after retirement. Which doesn’t necessarily prove this point. Though I think many people tend to equate what they do with WHO they are – and so it can take a toll on these people who then retire.

  3. When I think of retirement, I too think of golf…and I don’t even like golf. It’s important to think about the kinds of things you want to do after you “retire” from your full time job, and plan accordingly. You provide some great ideas of what we can do with our time during retirement. I’ll probably volunteer and work part time because sitting on the couch watching TV all day doesn’t appeal to me.

    By the way, did you hear that Walmart is removing its greeters? http://tinyurl.com/7omg93b

    • I love golf – but I don’t think I could do it endlessly. Haha.

      Yeah! I did see that too. Guess they are trying to put them more inside the store to help people find what they’re looking for?

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