04 May What do you REALLY want to do in retirement?
What would you do in retirement if you had no financial constraints? Would it be just what you’re doing today? Work part-time? Travel? Volunteer? Start a company? Go back to school? Financial constraints are what keep many of us from pursuing hobbies and passions but making a plan will help make dreams come true. So what do we need to know to prepare for a fulfilling retirement?
Bob Lowry, who blogs for nextavenue.org, advises “not to worry so much about their total savings, where to live or even how to fill the time. Having a satisfying retirement is more about your attitude toward the opportunities that life gives you.” One way to assure a steady stream of income, however, is a starting a “personal pension” better known as an annuity that guarantees income for life. Kerry Peabody and Marty Duggan here at Clark Insurance can provide a variety of options to assist you.
That said, there are lots of things to do now that will create those opportunities in retirement.
- If you don’t know your neighbors, reach out. Host a cookout, a cocktail party or a neighborhood clean-up. Way too many people couldn’t tell you who lives across the street much less three doors down.
- Get involved in a local service organization like Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis, Red Hat, etc.
- Join some committees in town that need volunteers like the chamber of commerce, church, Junior Achievement, United Way agencies or municipal advisory boards.
- Get healthy. It seems that some folks who enter retirement in poor health with no plan start to fade. Others who go from running 24/7 at their job enter retirement and stop dead – really dead.
Then there are the obvious alternatives of continuing to work either seasonally or part time. Your current employer may want to use your accumulated knowledge and strong work ethic on a part-time basis or you may want to try something entirely different. I recall a very successful food executive retired and went to work as a sale clerk in the store at L.L. Bean. Another gent, a very successful hospital administrator, signed on as a tour bus driver and helped seniors see the country. And a career civil servant used her knowledge and good humor to give hilarious guided tours to cruise ship passengers who stopped in port.
Start a business
Whether on your own or with a partner (maybe one of your children), think about starting a business that doesn’t require your full time attention but can use you money and talent. Another friend has not only financed his son’s summer food cart but staffs the eatery when they’re short-handed.
Get involved in politics
If you want to help change public policy, getting involved as a candidate or campaign worker not only is stimulating but can, in fact, make life a lot better for all of us. If you’re concerned about civility or honesty, then demonstrating those behaviors can be powerful role models for those who need it.
Get to know yourself
For those who want to explore their options, there’s help. One resource is an upcoming seminar sponsored by Anton Lemieux Financial Group (202 US Rt One, Falmouth, ME 04105) on May 20 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The presenter, Leigh Mundhenk, PhD, will address “Rethinking Retirement: Exploring Options in the Third Chapter.” Participants can register by calling 207-899-4248 (fee: $250).
If you’re a twenty-something member of the “millennial generation”, your view of what’s possible may likely be pretty modest. The economy tanked just as your career or career aspirations were getting underway. The job market took a dive, money was tight, half of your parents’ savings disappeared and lots of people were losing their homes. You’ve had a right to be nervous. Nevertheless, you need to move forward. One 27 year-old recently said, “I’ve maxed out on my 401(k) ever since I started working because I know I want a great retirement.” That kind of foresight should give retirees hope that the next generation also may enjoy the American Dream.