Don't let the grand-kids define your retirement!
We had lunch with friends yesterday who still run their very successful accounting practice. The conversation soon came around to their impending retirement and of course what they will do will all that time. Both are interesting & intelligent but like a lot of people they are struggling with what their ‘retirement’ will look like. Since we have been officially retired for the last 12 years we had some advice to impart.
Firstly keep your individuality, don’t fall into the trap where you do everything ‘together’. Why? because you will run out of things to talk about and share, plus you’ll start to annoy each other, believe me that will happen.. Separating yourself from your partner/spouse in some of your activities is the single most important thing you can do. You’ve spent the last 30-40 years of your working life having your own identity so why change that now?
Secondly don’t become the primary career of your grandchildren. And if you do help out with them please don’t make them your only topic of conversation. I have news for all those grandparents that believe their grandchildren are the next Stephen Hawking they are not and you banging on about the fact they can press buttons on a mobile phone is not in the least interesting, and in no way qualifies them as a genius. Please don’t roll out 100’s of photos on your mobile. There are only so many times you can say they look wonderful.
Thirdly, find a new focus, it doesn’t matter what it is, but embrace learning and growing like you did when you were in your teens and 20’s. It’s been proven that keeping your mind and body active will enhance your health. It will also make you more interesting.
Finally, plan your year, and project manage it. Have a list of activities you want to achieve and check their status every month to see how you are progressing but moreover make sure your don’t forget anything. The last thing you want to do is when someone asks what you’ve been doing in retirement is answer “looking after the grandchildren” or even worse “nothing”!
...and remember...have a fabulous retirementLIFE...