Thursday, November 11, 2010

Retirement - what does it mean to you?

I've had quite a few feedback via comments, text messages and e-mails from my last post, especially on the subject of retirement. So let's talk a bit more about that, shall we?

The fact is one day we will  retire - due to age and a host of other reasons. So why not plan for it?

If 'retirement' conjures up the image of you either slouching on that couch, or walking aimlessly around, then you shouldn't be here. I'm not promoting flat screen TV or old folks home!

My definition of Retirement is: "Breaking free from full time employment where you are paid by the hour, (or monthly over here) by the government or the business owner"

It is a time when you can take it easy, or still work your butt out, at your own pace, in your own time. The choice is entirely yours. It is the time of your life when you get up in the morning not because the alarm clock just went blurring and start to jump up and down. You get up when your rested body tells you you've had enough sleep and is ready for another interesting day. That may even mean getting up much earlier than usual.

Upon retirement you may work even harder, provided you choose to do something you are passionate about. That passion can be something you are having fun with, or something that's bringing you a lot of income, or both. You are no longer paid by the hour or a fixed sum at the end of the month no matter how hard you work.


You will no longer miss the opportunity to have fun or to make money, or to do both. Opportunities pass you by when you are still in the 9 to 5 (or 7 to 11) job because your nose is so deeply buried in the grindstone you just don't see them, even if they are right in front of you. Even if you see them, you won't be able to do anything about it because all of your time is taken away by your job.

Think carefully however before taking the plunge. Ask yourself these questions:

Do you love your current job?
Do you get up every morning roaring to go?
Do you spend enough time with your family?
Are you having fun with what you are doing, or is it so stressful that it is affecting your health and your relationship with your spouse/children, and friends?


NancyDe said...

After today, retirement sounds GREAT! Especially if I get to spend it on my "hobby farm". Most days, though, I still like what I do....and I am not yet ready to afford the farm life full time. It is definitely a priority some day.

Thanks for sharing, Grandpa. I enjoy your blog.

Grandpa said...

NancyDe, thanks for reading. Of course you should continue what you are happy doing, especially if your family's well-being depends on it. But that hobby farm won't just happen, you have to plan for it.
I wish you the very best for your future.

Jennifer said...

A positive and wonderful way to look at retirement!

Grandpa said...

Hi Jennifer, I'm sure you'll enjoy yours!

L'Aussie said...

Hi Grandpa. Retirement, I think it's not a good thing the way people look forward to it all their lives, then drop dead when they finally quit. If you're not in the job you love, that's sad. If you're doing what you like, why should you ever retire unless you physically can't do it any more. Aussies can't retire til they're 65 (look at the French striking because they're afraid of having ot work after 60!) Poor things!

Thanks for a thoughtful post..:)

Ohiofarmgirl said...

great work! i'm always surprised at folks who dont know what to do with themselves when they retire. i retired (or left work, i should say) when i was 38 and i've never worked harder. the biggest change was that before i couldnt be bothered to drag myself to work before 9:30am... now i'm up with the sun and go charging right out there.

if anything the current financial crisis has showed folks that "work all your life, then have fun" may or may not work.

i read the book, "Your Money or Your Life" when i was very young in my really changed how i viewed my work life.

thanks, Grandpa, for saying retirement is an opportunity!

Grandpa said...

L'Aussie,that's why I do not advocate that you work all your life,hope to save for retirement,then hope to enjoy it. If you don't love what you do then find a way out an do what you love.
Australians are in a unique situation with a very well educated work force, excellent working condition and a very high standard of living, so I expect the majority to remain working as long as they can. But Asians have to rethink their positions and options as working conditions and rewards left much to be desired.
The French goes on holiday for a whole month every August and whenever they can, and go on strike every now and then. This says something about their work culture and their attitude towards work.

OFG, I don't know about the US but here retirees not knowing what to do with themselves or their time are quite common. Some have been known to spend all their retirement money in three years, and had to look for jobs again. I know you've made the bold life-changing decision and had not looked back since. Good for you!

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Grandpa, I am enjoying my retirement.
I promised my self back working days....the day I retire is the day I stop reading the papers, wear my watch only when going out, no more eating dim sum, not to get into airplanes unless balek more fast cars, be with my wife 24/7.....

And go fishing, take time to smell the I have been there, done that, so to speak.

But one funny thing...on the day we at Subang airport saying goodbye to friends, I told my Malay friends....I am going to really miss my Malay friends, not to mention, ahemmm, Malay ladies......

And miss chatting over iced coffee in a kampong coffee shop with the pakciks and their smelly cherrots, ha ha, buka cherita.

And time passed, till I discovered Blogs by accident.....and the rest is history and bahasa saya now improving, only the new spellings buat saya lintang pukang, ha ha.
You stay easy and keep well, Lee.

Grandpa said...

Hi Lee, good to see you here. Yours is perhaps the perfect retirement as you have enjoyed working and probably been a great achiever as well. Add to that sensible financial and retirement planning and you can't go wrong.
They keep reinventing that language and keep changing their mind about teaching it in school...
Take care and have a great weekend Lee

secret agent woman said...

I like my work but hope to eventually (years from now) be able to slow my work until half-time.)

Anonymous said...

I am 34 and my husband is 58. Theoretically, he really should be thinking of retiring now and starting to smell the roses, so to speak. But he is more busy than me. Always on the go. I guess if it's OK as long as he enjoys what he does and it makes him happy; although I do wish he'll slow down sometimes; if anything, it's for health reasons. As the saying goes: the spirit may be forever young but the flesh ages.

Grandpa said...

secret agent woman, if you like your work then by all means continue with it, and have fun!

Andrea Wh@tever, chronological age can sometimes be irrelevant. If your hubby is fit, and enjoys his work (not at your expense, of course)then I guess he really doesn't have a reason to stop. Both of you can perhaps smell those flowers together on weekends?