Here's an interesting article from Time that talks about redefining the ideal retirement.
Not that there ever was ONE ideal retirement, but the generally accepted retirement a generation ago was one where you worked until 65, lived it up for 5 to 10 years, then died.
As a contrast, here's what more and more people are thinking of these days:
Once common and easily defined, the ideal retirement is now highly individualized and increasingly difficult to achieve because of our longevity, retirement savings shortfall, and the financial setbacks of the past six years. But if you embrace the new model and can find satisfaction with your extra years on the job, it’s still possible to retire in style.
For the financially prepared, this is an exciting time with many options. Sometimes the ideal retirement involves working full time—but at something completely different. It might mean volunteering, teaching, mentoring, consulting, getting into politics, writing a novel, or going back to school—for the fun of it.
The piece goes on to list five factors that make a great retirement as follows:
- Financial freedom
- Good Health
- Close Relationships
- Giving Back
I'm still thinking about what my retirement will look like as it's at least a decade away. That said, all five of these are issues I thinking now as they all seem important in having a great retirement. My current thoughts on each:
- Financial freedom - Obviously I'm working on this one as I've been documenting my thoughts/progress for years here at FMF. :)
- Purpose - I can see taking some time off in "retirement" and traveling/relaxing, but I don't think I could do that for 10 to 30 years. I'd go crazy!! So what am I going to do in retirement that has meaning?
- Good Health - I swim a mile three to four times a week but don't eat like I should. If I want to be healthy in my golden years, something's going to have to change.
- Close Relationships - I would LOVE to live somewhere near my kids when I retire. Just not sure where they are going to end up.
- Giving Back - Perhaps this is the answer to the "purpose" question above. Can I find a cause I believe in and work for free/reduced salary to help it? Maybe.
Anyway, retirement isn't as simple as quitting your job and hitting the beach. We used to think it was (though it never was IMO) but now we're wising up. There are many more issues to take into consideration and they need to be thought through well before your last day of work.
What's your take on the items above? Have you considered any of them as part of your retirement planning?