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Are You Really Ready For Retirement?

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By Yvonne Volante

You just got your special gold pin, an expensive watch and a bonus check more than anyone else's at this year's company Christmas party.

Who are you? This doesn't require three guesses. You are the about-to-be-retired, or the expected-to-retire employee. Everyone applauds, your company president makes a jaunty, tongue-in-cheek speech about you and your abilities, and you're basking in the spotlight.

Or are you?

Sometimes, the feeling of retirement isn't equivalent to, say, the "Lifestyles of the Rich and Retired." Maybe you're not rich, and maybe you're not ready to retire, even if you are doing well financially and would have enough to live on should you choose to retire.

But that's just the thing: What's "mandatory retirement" all about, anyway? What's this about moving us out of the work force when we reach a certain age? Do any of these things really make sense? Isn't everyone different, and doesn't everyone have different goals, dreams, and ideals in life?

Forget "mandatory," and think about what you really want to do. Having a purpose in life is what gives living its spark, for heaven's sake. Why usher you gently out the door if you're just not ready to go?

But "mandatory retirement" is the reason that 50 percent of all people who retire from a full-time career seek out an alternate job within the first six months of retirement.

According to the American Association of Retired Persons (which should certainly know), half of those retirees get a full-time job. Others decide to either work for themselves (what better time to start your own business?) or pursue a part-time job. And the primary reason for this desire to continue to work won't likely be lost on anyone: Retirement, for many, equals BOREDOM.

Whatever you do, whether it's just enjoying lying on the couch and watching old films or joining clubs and reconnecting with people and the community in ways you never had time to before, or if you want to pursue a completely new field, this is imperative: You MUST do something that makes you happy, that genuinely will please you. You must WANT to get out of bed to go to work; forget the burdens of the past 30-something years or so -- now is the time to be content and just enjoy yourself.

Ideally, this new work of yours should also require effort on your part to achieve. If it's too easy, you will still be bored.

Friends and relatives will be sure to make lists for you, should you not know what to do with yourself as a "retired person." They might suggest you do things like build a backyard patio; get a part-time gig as a night-shift security officer, take up golf, or, above all, TRAVEL!

Those well-meaning friends and relatives just don't get it. They do sincerely want the best for you, but you don't want their best ideas. You have them yourself.

Just consider your life-long hobbies and interests and put them to use in any environment you please. Please! This is the only chance you may ever have to do exactly what you want! Seize it!

Here's another plus: Say you take a job, go through some training, then two days later, you just hate it. Here before you is the very first time in your life that you can just quit a job if you don't want to do it. You've earned it, so walk out! Of course, you'd want to be polite about it, but honestly, that's real freedom!

See how many advantages there are to retirement? The trick is finding the right "flavor" for your personality. And when you do, you'll have the time of your life.

About The Author: Yvonne Volante, the author, is a big fan of retirement and writes for retirementfx.com, which is the premier retirement resource on the internet. You can see all of the articles over at www.retirementfx.com