When we think about planning for retirement, we usually focus on saving enough money. The story goes that when we’re retired, if we’ve planned carefully and worked hard, we’ll have enough money to live comfortably. And because we’re no longer going to work every day, we’ll have the time to really enjoy ourselves and do the things we’ve always wanted to do.
But the reality is, there are far too many people who slave away until retirement, and then never get to enjoy the fruits of their labors. You might think this won’t be you, but who knows what the future holds? Maybe the stock market tanks and you don’t have the funds you thought you would. Maybe you get ill, and can’t travel any more or can’t physically do what you want. Maybe the people you wanted to spend retirement with are no longer part of your life. Or maybe…you don’t live to retirement age yourself.
I put away money every month towards retirement, and will continue to do so. But if the opportunity to have some amazing experience falls into my lap, I’m going to give myself permission to spend the time and money to do it NOW. That way, regardless of what may happen in the future, I will always have those adventures to look back on!
So, what do you dream of doing when you retire? Traveling to exotic places, indulging in hobbies, volunteering, doting on grandchildren, writing that book, organizing all your photos or memorabilia, or just kicking back and putting your feet up?
All of these things could be done before retirement. We all spend money on things that we probably don’t really need – coffee drinks, new clothes, or electronic gadgets, for example. We could spend a little less on those items and put that money towards something that we’ve been putting off. Similarly, we all choose to do something in our down time. Lots of us watch TV, read, go out to eat, or spend hours on Facebook. We could carve out some of that time to do the things we’re dreaming of NOW, rather than waiting until retirement (and maybe never getting the opportunity).
What do you think? What could you do now that you’ve been putting off until retirement? Or if you are already retired, what haven’t you gotten around to yet? And to borrow from Tony Robbins, “When is NOW a good time to do it?”
I’d love to hear what you’re going to do, if you’d like to share. As for me, I’m working on writing that book! A history of Exum Mountain Guides…more to come.