Non-Fiction Article
Planning Your Great Escape
Scott A. Gese

Planning for Retirement Requires Foresight. Leaving a working career is without a doubt a life changing event.

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Planning for Retirement Requires Foresight.

Leaving a working career is without a doubt a life changing event.

All the years of hard work and necessary financial planning to enjoy your golden years is finally paying off.

Keep in mind, your finances are but one part of the plan. There are other significant issues that need to be thought through before you hand in your notice.

By not considering these issues, you can give yourself a skewed vision of those golden years.

If you’ve planned your retirement wearing rose colored glasses, it’s time to take them off.

Take a realistic look at all the facets of your plan before taking that final plunge. After all, retirement should be a joyful time in your life. Not one that turns out to be something less than you expected.

Retirement can be an Emotional Experience

A well rounded retirement plan must take the emotional aspect into consideration. Think about it. Most people put in fifty or more years of a regimented work schedule. Jumping to total freedom overnight can be a challenging lifestyle change. Some people don’t handle it well. Don’t take this life change lightly.

Keep Busy

Developing your passions and interests into quality time-well-spent can be one of the most important things you do. Work them into part of a daily routine. Make them a good reason to get out of bed each morning. The ability to prevent boredom from taking root and derailing those lucid dreams of total bliss is a must.

A Ship Without a Rudder will Eventually Run Aground

Before you’re financially ready to give the boss that final notice you should develop a plan to keep busy for the long term. Catching up on a honey-do list might be an important first task. Finishing those long put off projects will seem like a breeze now that the 9 to 5 commitment is no longer a factor. Those work on the house projects are a great way to fill your first few days or weeks. But then what.

The honey-do list is only so long. A concrete plan to stay active for the long term needs to be part of the overall equation. If it isn’t, the refrigerator, television or computer will stealthily fill in the gaps. This type of lifestyle isn’t going to cut it for long. In fact, it’s a sure fire way to end up in an unhealthy situation.

Our brains and bodies work best when they are in a state of physical and emotional well being.

Exercising your brain is as important as exercising your body. In fact there are studies showing the two to be closely intertwined.

A brain will deteriorate just as easily as any muscle that doesn’t get a regular workout. Keeping yourself healthy with quality exercise and an enjoyable hobby is essential. Finding one that requires several ways of thinking is best. For example, a hobby that combines idea generation, critical thinking and problem solving would be ideal.

Find a Motivator

If building muscles from exercise or earning extra cash from a service or hobby is on the agenda. Go for it. Emotional motivators like these are well worth pursuing if the goal is to keep active.

Keep in mind that the end goal doesn’t have to be about earning money. A sense of accomplishment in itself can be all the reward necessary.

If a hobby isn’t currently part of your overall plan, consider adding one. Many are inexpensive or free, and relatively easy to start.

Try stepping out of your comfort zone by learning something new and different.

Here are a few ideas

  • Learn to build and run a blog or a website.
  • Learn a foreign language.
  • Learn to play a musical instrument.
  • Get some fresh air by walking. Find new hiking trails.
  • Join a gym or yoga studio.
  • Taking day trips (and then blogging about them) can be both fun and rewarding.
  • Give back by volunteering your time and talents to an organization you feel strongly about.

The list is endless, and yes, anything is possible. Most activities are well within the reach of anyone.

Don’t limit yourself with a negative attitude by saying such things as “I can’t do that.”

I not only taught myself to write, I promote my work to magazines and online publications. I taught myself to build websites and I also spend time on building projects in my wood shop. To stay physically active and get myself out of the house, I take day trips and I hike.

Here’s the Best Part of This Whole Retirement Gig.

There’s no schedule, no time limit, no deadline and no pressure connected to the things you decide to do. Nothing is set in stone. A hobby or activity can be learned. You can enjoy it over any length of time, with no one breathing down your neck to get things done. (well maybe your spouse). The experience becomes that much more relaxing and enjoyable.

Remember, as the saying goes, it’s the journey, not the destination. In fact, there doesn’t even need to be a destination. The whole idea is to enjoy the ride while keeping your brain and body in motion.

Be sure to do yourself a favor when formulating a retirement plan. Incorporate workable ideas to stay physically and mentally fit. The goal is to keep boredom at bay.

An active brain and a fit body will keep those golden years shining bright.

© Copyright 2023 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.


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