Is retirement a myth? Well, let’s discuss this a bit. This is a follow-up article on my previous one, “Why You Will Never Retire”. I want to add a little more insight into this whole concept of retirement.
Retirement in and of itself is not a bad thing. It can be quite enjoyable given the sufficient funds to do what you want to do when you want to do it. My main point here is that you can do this at any age.
A Made Up Concept
The interesting thing is as I mentioned in my prior article on “never retiring” that retirement is a concept created by the German statesman, Otto von Bismarck, in the late 1880s; He said that people that are disabled by age or any other way have a right to be taken care of by the state. What he actually meant was that there were too many unemployed young people, and he wanted to open up the job market by inducing people seventy (70) years of age or older to leave the marketplace.
Granted, some may have welcomed this idea, especially if they were tired from a lifetime of hard labor or if they did have some kind of disability, but that would have been the minority. People were used to working as long as possible given that they were healthy. Work was a major part of their lives.
“Retirement is not in my vocabulary. They aren’t going to get rid of me that way.”
On the surface, there are certainly benefits to this concept of retirement, but it’s the mindset and expectations that it creates that disempowers people. Work is a vital part of a person’s life, in which one gains fulfillment and pride in a job well done. The concept of “being taken care of” is very disempowering.
Can Retirement Cause Depression?
“I wanted to have more time to play and reflect, but I find retirement more stressful than having a nice, steady job because I have to make decisions about where I want to be.”
Another aspect of this retirement concept, or what I prefer to call a myth, is that when a person leaves the employment world they just are not used to having so much time on their hands. Of course, some like myself, have no problem filling our days with fun and productive activities. But for many, they feel lost, and in extreme cases, useless.
This can lead to being depressed and not motivated to stay engaged in life. After so many years of working, many have their sense of self directly tied up with their occupations. Without their business or job many question their very value and self-worth. Also, with so much time on a person’s hands, they have too much time to think and worry. Their minds are no longer occupied with productive tasks.
Now they may start worrying about finances, health, the years passing by, their usefulness to themselves and others, as well as dying. Also, the dynamics at home shift around a bit, and there is that transition as well.
Much of this can be worked out over time after one adjusts to their new experience. But in more extreme cases, support and assistance may be necessary from a counselor or therapist.
“Retirement may be looked upon either as a prolonged holiday or as a rejection, a being thrown on to the scrap-heap.”
Making an Adjustment to this Myth of Retirement
For those caught up with feelings of uncertainty and uneasiness to their new experience of being retired, there are some practical things that can be done. First, realize that all is okay right this very moment. All our power has always been and is now in the Present Moment. Everything is okay in spite of any weird thoughts and feelings we may experience.
Hang out with family and friends who are supportive and love you. Do things together that you all enjoy. If you don’t have any supportive folks around, go find some. There are plenty of places to go depending on your interests. Senior centers have plenty of activities and classes in which to get involved.
Whatever things you were putting off over the years that you are really passionate about doing them now. It’s always now, and that is where the action is. Put that toe in the water and test the waters. Get started and see what happens. There are no mistakes, only different kinds of experiences.
Over the years at work, you always had a schedule. So now set one up for yourself. You get to be the creator of this schedule based on your interests and desires. Include exercise, family time, errands, volunteering, hobbies, and any side businesses of interest. If you don’t want a schedule do these things spontaneously by trusting your intuition.
With the right frame of mind or mindset, you will be more engaged and fulfilled than ever. Life begins right this very moment and always has. It is no different now.
Beyond the Myth
“I never had the sense that there was an end: that there was a retirement or that there was a jackpot.”
Once again, the time in Now and always has been. No matter what our age is at this point in time we can shift our thoughts about retirement. The degree of this mind shift will vary by individual, but since we have all been conditioned to one degree or another, we can all make some sort of shift away from the traditional concept of retirement.
It now time to “pause and reflect” on what our heartfelt desires are. This revelation coupled with the awareness that they can be achieved will put us in a whole new playing field. If it’s not fun, don’t do it. It’s as simple as that. Once we examine our motives of why we are doing what we are doing, things clear up a bit. With this new-found clarity, we can quickly identify motives that don’t match up with our true desires and choose to change direction. We are the creators of our game plan after all.
“Retirement at sixty-five is ridiculous. When I was sixty-five I still had pimples.”
Once we connect to our true purpose in life, no matter what age we may be currently, things begin to shift. We see “with new eyes”. The world takes on a much different complexion. We see possibility. It really is like being born again.
Our focus shifts from uncertainty and fear of possibility and adventure. We welcome change as we know that only change can bring the fulfillment and joy that we seek. The journey becomes the gift, and our results are merely a way to keep track of our progress and achievements.
We have become purpose-driven instead of fear-driven. We are not just hanging out waiting to die, we are fully engaged in life not waiting on anybody or anything because we have too much living to do.
Now let me remind you again that this applies to folks of all ages. There are plenty within the younger generations who feel lost and uncertain. It is time to recognize the power that exists right this moment and direct it in our desired direction consciously, rather than being carried along within the comfort of unawareness and victimhood.
It’s Time to Rewrite the Script
When we initially asked ourselves, is retirement a myth, we may not have anticipated going this deep with this discussion. But like anything else we choose to tear apart and investigate, there are many things that surface that may have surprised us and caused us to view things in a much different way.
Once we truly understand and recognize that we have the power to control our lives on a conscious basis, we are able to let the fear related to retirement and what the future holds dissipate, and then redirect our energy where it will do the most good, which is in enhancing our lives as well as the lives of others. It’s just a matter of rewriting the script for our lives, beginning right this very moment.
Putting any apprehensions aside, let’s dig a little deep and describe to ourselves how we would like things to play out from this point on. What activities are we interested in participating, what parts of the world do we desire to explore, with whom would we like to spend some quality time, what hobbies would we like to pursue, how would we like to give back to the community in helpful ways, in what business ideas are we interested, and how do we desire to structure our days to fit this all in.
At this point, let any reservations or reasons why this can’t be done just hang out there without giving them any undue attention. Just search your heart and soul for what would bring joy to your lives. Expand your thoughts and let them fly throughout the universe. Allow yourselves to think on an infinite basis and release your innermost desires and longings to express who you really are.
As I mentioned once or twice previously, this type of thinking and being is available to folks of “all” ages. We are never too young or too old to embrace and release our “Genius Within”.
Do this exercise and have fun with it. You will be pleasantly surprised where it may lead. Do not allow yourselves to kill this idea off in your head without giving it a sincere go. You owe it to your inner genius who is just begging to emerge and lead you to the greatness you deserve because of You Are You.
If you need a push to Take The Next Step, review my Free Videos on “Getting Stuff Done”, and raise your GSD Quotient sufficiently so that your progress naturally in the direction you desire to do.
Enjoy the journey, and do not get all caught up in this myth of retirement thing that only serves to fuel our fears. We are much bigger and better than that, and this is our opportunity to recognize this and take appropriate action. The world is waiting in anxious anticipation for our emergence into greatness.
With much love and peace within the Light of your Inner Being,
P.S. If and when you desire to pursue some business interests and create one or more additional sources of income, give my #1 Recommendation a close look and see what you think.