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Is Work All You Know?

For some of you retiring, work is all you know. You never took up a hobby, or did much exploring around the world. You were 110% dedicated to your job. That makes it very difficult to all of a sudden stop. What do you do then? Many occupations are very intense and requires a considerable amount of involvement and very close association with co-workers. Law enforcement, for example. Over a 20-30 career very strong bonds are formed, the work is very intense and leave little time nor energy for hobbies. When they are forced to retire, or burn out they have very little to do. The dream of fishing and golfing every day might get old very fast. One way out is of course to take on some work after retirement. Security guard, private investigations and so forth. Some become consultants to police in retirement. I suppose if you are that close to your career and work, it makes it easy to transition to take on a job after retirement – in your field. Or go out on your own, consult, write a blog – whatever. Unless you want to do nothing….. If this is you, life can be great in retirement. You can get to do what you like to do work-wise, keep your contacts and make good use of all the years you learned. OR – if you are burned out – take some time off and review in a year or two. You might just find an activity you like, one that you thought in your working days you would never do. Golf, for example. I took it up when I was 60. Took a year before I started to enjoy it, still now I am not totally hooked but it is fun and it is an outing in fresh air....

You can change your mind.

Over 50% of retired people do some work activity after retirement. For various reasons. Many do this for a while and find that it is not really what they want after all. Unless you are in dire financial needs, it is ok to change your mind. Work might not be what it is cracked up to be for you, in spite of the income. You have to keep in mind that retirement – by definition is a time to relax and enjoy after many years of work. The point here is the ability to change direction as situations change. There are many opportunities out there and since you are not building a career where you might have to watch what you do not to “tarnish” your reputation – in retirement you really can do what you want. Don’t like the job – dump it. Take a month off. Get another one. Whatever works for...

65 is not old.

In the old days we didn’t live nearly as long as we live today. So at retirement age 60-65 people really just wanted to enjoy the few year they had left as reasonable healthy retirees. Today, we expect (hopefully) to stay healthy and active well past 75. Which means there is time to do some more work to prop up your pension plan and still have lots of time to enjoy the “golden years”. Today’s 65 is yesteryear’s 45. We do things today in our 60s that was unthinkable when we were kids. I am 64 and I dragonboat amongst other activities. I know people well over 70 that are active paddlers and compete. Heck, I didn’t take up golf until I was 60! Thinking back at my parents and grandparents when I grew up…they were old at 40. But that could have been a young person’s...

How much time?

One thing to consider when contemplating working after retirement is how much time are you willing to spend working? Of course, that depends a lot on your situation. If you are looking for part-time employment, you might decide that 15 hours a week is enough, and not working in the winter when you might be in Florida. It becomes more difficult when you start your own business. If you become passionate about whatever business you start, whether it is a blog or selling kadiddles on eBay – it is difficult to decide how much time to spend. I know this well. I get obsessed with projects and at times want to do nothing else but work it. It is important to keep a balance in work and life. Even if you love what you do – one should limit the time spent on...

Love what you do. Period.

Having been on my own since 1988 I have learned one thing. If you choose to be self-employed you absolutely need to be passionate about what you do. This is a non-negotiable thing. There is no way you will even have a chance at surviving, never mind making some money if you have to “motivate” yourself every morning to go to work. And if you can’t wait for Friday to come around so you can do nothing all week-end, go work for somebody that tells you what to do every day. And you don’t think about it over the weekend. I love what I do. I am not saying you couldn’t love your job at a company, thank goodness most people do – but loving what you do when your entire life and income depend solely on you – is critical....

Things you need to give up to be happy in retirement...

How do you know you’ll be happy after you stop working? I suppose it depends on how happy you were before retirement. You are your own boss. You decide what you need to do to be happier. We all deserve to be happy. Just because you retire and end the endless craziness of punching the clock – you don’t become immediately happier in my opinion. Now there are a whole new slew of challenges to tackle. Money. Where to go. Health. Safety. Pensions. Health insurance. I have always wondered what happiness is like. I think I am pretty happy, but who knows. There is always something to worry about, plan for, to do, should do, should have done, regrets and many more reason to challenge happiness. I think for the most part, we find it easier to be unhappy than happy. Happiness can lead to guilt too. “Do I deserve this? Other people are miserable.” I think a lot about this. Too much. Maybe this will help, I need to look at this list often. Easy to read, it makes sense but soo difficult to implement. Let’s try! Here is a shortlist of things, that in my opinion we have to give up to make us happier: Give up excuses. Give up unresolved relationships. Give up stress. Relax, breathe and smile instead! Give up regrets. The past is the past. Nothing you can do. Give up resentment. Move on. Give up trying to please everybody. You can’t, so why bother trying so hard? Give up disappointment. “If you don’t expect anything, you won’t be disappointed.” Not everything will work. Learn and move on. Give up feeling misunderstood. You can’t control what other people think. Be the person you want to be without much regard for what people think. Give it a try. Take one item a week and work on...