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Don’t Retire… Refocus

Don't retire... RefocusThat’s right, I said it, don’t retire. Refocus. When you really think about it, “retirement” is more akin to “waiting to die” these days. Working people everywhere long for the days when they can relax, sit down all day and do nothing. Or they long for days of being able to travel the world or have time to go out with friends and get a new hobby. But, there are only so many days you can just sit and do nothing before your brain starts getting mushy, and if you are going to be out and about instead, you have to be able to fund all that.

 

Here at iMoneyCoach we often tell people that they should not plan on retiring. What?! Yes, that’s right. You shouldn’t spend your whole life working for that magical day when you don’t have to work anymore. It’s not realistic, and it’s not healthy.

 

We should at any stage of life have some way of bringing in income. Is that to say I think my 96 year old grandmother should be standing at a check-stand all day? Not at all. Or does it mean that Jim’s 7 year old son should be shoveling rocks all day? No. We all walk through different times and different stages in our lives, and our efforts to bring in cash should change accordingly. A 30-something couple with 2 kids will have to work hard to bring in money to support the family and make sure to have enough food and clothing for their kids. Someone in his 70’s would not have that same charge of supporting a family anymore, so he would not need to seek the same income, but he may have worked hard earlier to invest in a rental property that would now pay his bills as he acted as landlord.

 

Did you know that the idea of retirement has changed vastly in the last 50 years. When people retired in the 1950’s and 60’s, they were often “forced to retire” or “had to retire.” Now we start talking in our 20s about when we “get to retire.” This shift in mentality is dangerous, and we need to turn it around. For one thing, if all you are thinking about at work is when you don’t have to work anymore, you are less likely to do a great job, which means you may get passed up for promotions or bonuses or even lose your job. We do need to think about and plan for the future, but remember that we also have to live in today. Plus, who wants to work toward the day where they are going to be virtually worthless and not contributing anything anymore? That is a sad position towards which to be working so hard.

 

Well, when you retire you are not only going to go on vacation, but you are going to volunteer right? Volunteering is a good way to help others and has been shown to have health benefits. But studies have also shown that people who only volunteer and do not have some way to keep earning income often worry more and have more stress than those who can still earn money. You may want to think about easing into volunteering as you ease out of your job. Could you reduce your work pace or hours so that you are still gaining income but now also have time to help others? Or could you right now work on generating some other streams of income that will be easy to sustain in the future?

 

Whether you are 20 or 50 we invite you to sit down and consider what you have been thinking about retirement and completely flipping that upside-down. Don’t think about retirement. Don’t accept that death sentence, where you will work until you are done and then sit and do nothing. You have value, and as long as you are alive you can share that value with the world. And you can still earn income. Start thinking now about your plans for the future and what changes you might make as you enter different stages in your life. How will you plan on earning income in the next 5, 10, 20 years? Consider some of our ideas about generating alternate income and see if some of those might fit your life and plans. There are always ways that you can be generating income. If you would like more ideas be sure to give us a call or send a quick email, or you can comment below!

 

In all this, just remember: Don’t retire…Refocus!

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