For most of our lives, we look forward to retirement as if it was the ultimate destination. We monitor our savings account, hoping that we have enough money to maintain our quality of life. We think about all of the fabulous places that we want to go. We dream about what we will do with ourselves when, for the first time in more than 4 decades, we have free time again.
Then, it happens. We reach retirement, only to find that it isn’t what we thought it was. In fact, the thing that we looked forward to the most – time – can become our greatest fear. Of course, this is not always the case. Many of us find ourselves plenty busy in retirement. But, for a significant majority of seniors, making the transition to retirement is more challenging than they expected.
Over the last few years, I have had the opportunity to talk to hundreds of women who have made the transition to retirement. From these discussions, I have learned that finding and following your passions is one of the keys to building a happy and healthy life after 60.
To get a little inspiration on this topic, I turned to one of my friends, Perley-Ann Friedman. Perley-Ann worked as an IT consultant for most of her life. Then, after years of soul-searching, she decided to move to Koh Lanta, Thailand to retire. Actually, since Perley-Ann still does writing projects, “semi-retired” is probably more accurate.
In fact, when it comes to people like Perley-Ann, this is really the whole point. Rather than see retirement as a “destination,” they see retirement as a new phase of life. It is not necessarily a time for slowing down. It is a time for redefining yourself and focusing on the things that fascinate and stimulate you. Enjoy the show!
Perley-Ann has 4 passions in her life – writing, her cats, yoga and ceramics. So, what’s the big deal? Does it really matter what one person’s passions are? Well, in a word – yes. You see, what I love about Perley-Ann’s passions is that the cover several of the categories of activities that are essential to finding happiness after 60.
Let’s start with writing. Perley-Ann uses her writing as a way to connect with the world. In addition, since she works as a freelance writer, she is able to use her talent with words to make a little extra money. In my opinion, every single woman in our community should be thinking about how to make a little extra money in retirement. This is not an easy task – but, it is also completely possible.
Perley-Ann’s passion for yoga is important because it helps her to keep her body healthy and her mind tranquil. As I have discussed before, getting in shape is the single best thing that we can do for ourselves in our 60s. It makes every aspect of our life better.
Perley-Ann loves her cats and has also invested in building a rich social life in Thailand. No matter where you live, having people (and other animals) in your life who love you unconditionally is so important.
Finally, let’s talk about Perley-Ann’s passion for ceramics. When we reach our 60s, we finally have the opportunity to bring things into our lives that, to paraphrase William Norris, we believe are beautiful or know are useful. In many ways, Perley-Ann has simplified her life. But, this simplification has made room for the small pleasures that make her life worthwhile.
I hope that you found my interview with Perley-Ann inspiring. Now I’d love to hear what you are planning on doing to get the most from life after retirement. Please join the conversation below.
What are you looking forward to most about retirement? If you have already reached retirement, was it what you expected? Why or why not?