If you long for the day when you can retire from work, no one blames you. In spite of the many articles I’ve written which vilify the evils of taking a traditional retirement, I’m admitting I was wrong. But my error was not in principle but a failure to clarify.
Many Baby Boomers have done well with money. They’ve invested wisely and prepared for retirement. They are able to travel the planet and pursue a fulfilled life. I applaud those who have achieved this place in life.
Go ahead and retire from your job but never retire from life. This is where I’ve failed to be clear. My issue is with people who retire from work AND from life.
What does it look like to retire from life?
- You become the center of the universe.
- You stop trying to make a difference in your world.
- You believe the lie which says it’s time to ride off into the sunset.
- You spend most of your time on the couch.
- You stop being curious.
- You allow your own personal world to keep shrinking.
- You transition into a crabby old person.
- You snarl at young people for their idealistic views of the world.
- You spend more time cursing the past than you spend planning for the future.
Here’s the key question: When you walk away from you job what will you do? I hear my friends asking this question. But it isn’t enough to ask the question. You must think it through until you have an answer.
My answer to the “what will I do?” question is simple. I’m going to stay MAD. M.A.D. is my acronym for how I’ve always tried to live my life. It stands for Make A Difference. Impact your world. Refuse to retire from life. There’s a big world out there that needs you.
Get MAD. Stay MAD. Live MAD.
That’s what it means to ReFIRE your life.
YES! Well said. I am lucky to know lots of men and women who are retired from work but fully engaged in life – serving and changing the world. The key for me was figuring out how to incorporate all of these things long before retirement age. Imagine if the whole world got MAD in their 20s and 30s. GREAT WORDS!
Thanks for your comment. Looks like we are on the same page.
I completely agree with your philosophy. So did Viktor Frankel in “Man’s Search for Meaning”. People who loose purpose – loose life!
I’m glad you clarified that. I was beginning to think you were a little crazy or just jealous of those that can retire! We graduated together and I have been retired since 2000. My husband and I planned well for retirement and fortunately he enjoyed retirement for 10 years before passing away from cancer. He didn’t just sit around. And neither do I. I volunteer but also have fun bowling in a league and playing cards with friends. Retirement is awesome!
Well, I’m probably a little crazy but not a little jealous. My clarification helped me to solidify my own thinking. See you at Homecoming!
I knew that’s what you meant all along, Randy! :)