3 Things to Remember When Taking the First Step Towards Retirement
I’m learning each day to look forward to what is coming as I stand where I am today. Being present in my life right here and now has created an appreciation for all that I have and an eagerness for what is yet to come. Every change I make takes me to that new and exciting place.
Take Small Steps
I have been toying with the idea of retirement for several years now, while taking small but significant steps toward that end.
I kept waiting for that grand event when I would know that it was time to finally take the leap. What I realized after turning 60 a couple of years ago, is that it was more of gradual tip-toe than an actual jump.
Fear is a compelling thing, but letting go of all the security and control of what I thought I needed to be happy was very difficult. Most days, it still creeps into my brain, and I feel slightly overwhelmed by the fact that I have chosen to not continue to work full-time.
I remind myself that I do have passive income and have not yet tapped into my retirement savings but something about not reporting to a job at a required time feels like stepping into a great void.
I’ve never been concerned about what I will do with my time when I retire. I have many passions that give me great joy and satisfaction, but I do still worry that I’m being unrealistic about how much money I will need.
Retirement Is Not an All or Nothing Affair
What I must remember is that this is not an all or nothing situation.
If, at any point, I feel like I am financially insolvent or even approaching it, I can simply get a job. I’ve never had a problem finding work, and I don’t believe I ever will. That is the big safety net I have, and if I can keep that in mind, then maybe I will be able to let go of some of my concern.
It is essential that the only work I do now is what makes my heart happy. I believe that should be the minimum criteria for anything I do for the rest of my life.
I know this is not something that is generally accepted. The expectation is that you will work hard for all your life, struggle and sacrifice to get ahead and then fade into the sunset. Anything else is perceived as selfish or irresponsible.
This philosophy doesn’t make sense to me at this stage of my life. I’m very young at heart and I know that I have so much life yet to live, so I am ready to find out what is next for me.
I want to take the time to explore new people, places and things. There will be some things that feel right for me and others that I will just experience and let go.
You Can Make Changes Along the Way
I know it will be fun to experiment and see what fits.
Trusting myself is key – I need to stay aware of how I am feeling so I can make changes whenever necessary. Right now I tend to stay a little too long when I’m not happy and then I start feeling trapped and need to break away.
I know that I have so many options and that this is what the journey is all about. I don’t ever need to go back, I just need to stay focused on the present and let the future unfold.
It is time for me to really break the mold and let myself be outrageous in my exploration of what lies ahead. I’ve always had an adventuresome spirit, and now is the time to really let it shine. I am going to create the life that I want and don’t need to retire from.
What revelations have you discovered after turning 60? Are you looking forward to retirement or is it a concern for you? Please share your stories and join the conversation.
Lynn Clare is a freelance writer living in Denver, Colorado. She is an avid traveler and loves writing about her adventures for women who travel solo at Womens-Independent-Travel.com.