Getting the most out of the freedom of retirement
Those lucky enough to have exited full-time corporate life are often hit with a temptation to return to it. The backlog of home projects gets checked off the to-do list, and the things we longed to do while we were working just don’t take up 40+ hours a week. There can be a palpable loss: of the company of others, a loss of structure, and a loss of purpose. This is why planning ahead for the freedom of not working full time can be such a rewarding investment of time and focus. And for those already in the midst of post-work, it’s not too late to develop a plan. Others are jealous of your freedom — let’s make the most of this enviable time of life.
This article and four more that will follow offer discovery tools that will help you look at this time of life from varying perspectives, using your mind and your heart to guide your vision for what can be the greatest time of your life.
After exploring all of the tools, you will have flushed-out some common themes, signaling areas that you can act upon or consider further.
Tool #1: Write
Below is a list of prompts to help you write an essay about your ideal life in this period of “downshifting.” If an area doesn’t hold importance to you, don’t write about it. And of course, add anything that is not prompted here.
1. What is my ideal life after winding down my working life? What do I want my life to look like?
2. What will I be doing?
3. What will I see?
4. Where will I be living?
5. What do I want my relationships to be like?
6. How do I want to feel, about everything?
7. What will my family life be like?
8. What will my work life look like?
a. Full-time, but different than what I currently do?
f. Temporary work here and there?
g. NONE — “resting and recreating” is my aim.
9. Will I be active in spiritual activities? What?
10. What will I be doing for fun?
11. Will I travel? Where, how often, and with whom?
12. What is my financial situation?
Net worth? Annual Income?
13. What about my health?
Body, Mind, Spirit
14. Will I participate in furthering my education?
What do I want to learn/achieve?
15. What do I want to accomplish?
16. Do I have a desire to contribute, or “give back?”
What do I see myself doing in this regard?
17. What former, current or new hobbies will I include?
18. Is there a project I’d like to complete for myself or another?
19. What else?