“Myth: a widely held but false belief or idea.”
Think of your retirement years. What pops into your head? Why did those images appear in your mind? Your world has taught you many lessons about the coming post-career years.
There are many myths floating around about retirement. Some of them promise a future filled with ecstatic wonders. Some myths take us in the opposite direction and paint a picture of misery. If you are going to successfully navigate this next chapter of your life you must debunk those myths.
Here are 7 retirement myths debunked.
Myth 1: Now Life is All About Me.
Until this point life has been about everyone else. You’ve raised a family. You’ve helped out your friends at work. Maybe you’ve been active in your church or other organizations. You’ve volunteered. You’ve been a leader. You’ve done your part. But as you enter into the post-career chapter of life, now is the time to focus on yourself.
Here’s the truth: now is the time to give back to others more than ever before.
Myth 2: The Productive Years of My Life are Over.
This is the glue factory mentality. When horses are of no use they are set out to pasture. They wander around without purpose until they die and shipped off to be turned into glue. This myth suggests retirement sets us out to pasture because the productive years of life are over. We wander around, enjoying the “Golden Years” until we fall over dead.
Here’s the truth: if you make the right decisions you are about to enter into the most productive years of life.
Myth 3: Life is About to Get Easier.
Why wouldn’t life get easier after your career is over? No more routine to follow. There is no boss getting in your face. You can sit around and watch Matlock reruns all day long. And you need never set another alarm clock. You are about to coast down easy street.
Here’s the truth: life is about to get more difficult because you must rebuild your life within a new framework.
Myth 4: I’m No Longer Needed.
This myth comes to us in subtle ways. After the retirement party you leave your career behind. It’s over. They no longer need your services. And check out the definitions of retire and you will see this phrase, “to pull back.” The message is clear: you are no longer needed.
Here’s the truth: with your accumulated years of experience and knowledge you are needed more than ever.
Myth 5: My Expenses Will Go Down.
We really want to believe this myth. If only it were true. But you still need to eat, a place to live, health insurance, and cable TV. Your fixed expenses will remain the same. Don’t kid yourself: the senior coffee at McDonald’s isn’t that much cheaper.
Here’s the truth: unless you work hard to change it, your expenses remain about the same.
Myth 6: It Takes Lots of Money to Have a Happy Retirement.
This is one of the scariest of all retirement myths. I’ve written a lot about the experts who assure us we need a million bucks in the bank before we can even begin to think about retirement. A fulfilling retirement, according to this myth, is reserved for those in the millionaire’s club.
Here’s the truth: even without a lot of money you can make these years the most rewarding part of the journey.
Myth 7: It’s Time to Fade into The Sunset.
“Happy trails to you. Until we meet again.” If you recognize those words you might have the idea life is coming to an end and you need to ride slowly off into the sunset. This myth says older folk need to just shut up and slip away into oblivion.
Here’s the truth: if you make the right decisions these years can be the land of perpetual sunrises.
These popular myths about retirement paint an unrealistic picture. They either make it look wonderful or terrible.
These popular myths about retirement breed confusion and set the stage for disillusionment. What’s the answer? What should you believe instead of these myths? Instead of worrying about retiring I encourage you to consider ReFIRING.
The ReFIRE process cuts through the confusing myths and sets you on a course of fulfillment for your post-career years.