Retirement Transitions - Facing The Facts by Bill Storie
You’re not young anymore.
Some people get upset at the use of the word “old”. Which is part of the reason we call this program, “Olderhood”, not “Oldhood”.
We’re as sensitive as you are.
But guess what? I am indeed older. You are older. We are all getting older. I can’t change that and neither can you. Sorry, if that bursts a bubble or three for you, but you and I must simply Face the Facts.
Things you used to do all day, now take all day to do. Activities that utilized energetic bursts years back, just don’t seem to pop up much these days – not because you’ve run out of ideas, but maybe you’ve run out of energy. Thoughts of climbing mountains have morphed into sitting on a comfortable chair looking at mountains.
The Transition from then to now is a Transition I embrace. I will not beat myself up because I can’t run 4 minute miles anymore (never could if truth be told, but it sounds good). I take a wee bit longer to walk to the shops perhaps … but the shop will still be there when I arrive, and I bet they’ll still take my money just easily. Why the rush.?
I am at peace with myself that I can’t do things like I did as a young man. But I sure as heck know that I am so much smarter now than then. I have experience. I have knowledge. I have intuition. Maybe I should refer to it as Wisdom, but in any event this grey hair didn’t come cheap.
In other words, there are several aspects to the reality that we are older and that we are in the twilight years. So, the Facts can be categorized into Four broad categories:
Moving on to the second category – Health. We must recognize that as we age, our health deteriorates. The trick is to slow that process down as best we can and perhaps more importantly, to still enjoy a quality lifestyle. We recognize that our vital signs (blood pressure, pulse and so forth) will, in most cases, slowly get worse. There’s no point in denying it and being obstinate about get regular check-ups. “I’m feeling fine so there’s no need to go get checked.” Not a clever idea.
If you are healthy, well done. If you are not healthy, then I agree that trying to Face those Facts, may be troublesome for you. Illness must not be ignored or poo-pooed. It is too important. So, it might be too cavalier to say, “Face the Facts”, but to the extent that you do have reasonable health, although not so agile as you once were, then if those are the facts, so be it.
The next broad category – Finance. Live within your means is the key issue. If you’ve done the pre-retirement financial planning correctly, then the money issue in retirement should be minimal. Obviously if you feel that because you are in retirement you deserve to buy what you want that is your choice. However, be aware that excessive spending over and above your retirement income will lead to misery sooner or later.
Don’t spend money you don’t have. Don’t borrow any money for living expenses if you have no means of repaying the borrowing. Unless you make the conscious decision to not leave any inheritance funds to family, then the residual balance should be figured in to your calculations. What happens if you run out of money but not years?
Enjoy life in the fashion you are able to enjoy life at this stage of your life.
And remember …
“Clocks don’t run backwards”
“Most people don't grow up. Most people age.
They find parking spaces, honor their credit cards, get married,
have children, and call that maturity. What that is, is aging.”