When I said I was moving to Bali, someone asked, “What are you running from?” The question struck me as odd. I wasn’t running from, I was running to. After years of doing for others this was for me, my great adventure. It was also a test. Could I survive the loneliness that was sure to come?
I retired in Bali… can you?
Retirement crept up on me. I had excellent health, meager savings and a severe case of age-appropriate denial. Then, three friends died of cancer within eighteen months. I wasn’t yet sixty-one. All younger than I, they had unrealized dreams and unfinished lives.
There’s a rumor circulating that after a certain age women disappear.
Not literally, of course, but for all practical purposes many older women feel overlooked, dismissed and ignored. Curiosity drove me to investigate why some of us fade out while others continue to be noticed.
But before I divulge the secrets to banishing the cloak of invisibility forever, I think it’s important to validate what happens to women as we leave menopause behind.
There’s only one good answer to the question of when to downsize – before you have to.
There are two kinds of people: those who adore the time-tested holiday traditions, the shopping, the wrapping, the cooking, the expectations… and those who, for whatever reason, don’t.
Of those who don’t, there are the ones who carry on anyway, and there are the ones who realize it’s okay not to conform, that they can make other choices. So, they do.
Looking to retire in Bali? You’ll want to read my story first! Every year, I used to feel despondent when my social security letter arrived. Retirement, it seemed, was not an option for me. In order to live a middle-class life in the U.S., I would have to continue to work pretty much forever.
When we reach our 60s, several things happen: