On April 24th I had the good fortune to lead a one-day workshop on Preparing for Retirement. To my surprise, I had many people signed up who are well into their retirement years–and to an observer like me–they seem to be doing very well. However, I was surprised and pleased to learn that what I had to offer was enriching for these retirees. Most people have never conceptualized the “life they will love to live” because all the emphasis is on the “money they need to put away.” If you Google “preparing for retirement,” you will find that 95% will be all about finances, insurance and Social Security. That is only part of the picture.
In order to have a dynamic “third chapter,” there is an ongoing need to identify our passions, become clear about our goals, and set about bringing these into physical reality. It is good for us retirees to know that we are not finished making our contribution to the world. Society needs the knowledge, experience, and wisdom that we have to offer. Would it not be wrong to let ourselves stagnate, thus diminishing our health and shortening our lives? To quote the poet Mary Oliver, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Successful retirees continue to ask and answer this question throughout all their years.