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What’s a Retirement Leaper?

The first anniversary of my retirement is just weeks away.  I’m going to use this blog to look back at the highs, lows, and plateaus, week by week, month by month.  I’m going to find clues and maybe some wisdom along the way, something that just might help others who are looking forward to their retirement, or perhaps facing their imminent retirement with trepidation.   I may even find some insight to help myself enjoy the second year of retirement.  That’s what I’m hoping will happen.

Here is something I’ve learned about retirement:  People within the ages of 60-100, seem to fall into one of four categories:  A. The Workers.  Either because they need the money, love their jobs, or they are fearful of too much free time, these people continue to work.  B. The Planners. These individuals retire thoughtfully, with meticulous care. They pick a date far into the future, and develop their hobbies, procure their part time gigs, plan their travels, find meaningful volunteer work, and change their living arrangements to make the transition practically painless.  Then they pray like crazy that they will still have their health when the time comes.  This blog is not for them.  There are already plenty of online resources to support The Planners.  C. The Life’s a Beach and then you die-ers. These folks never really had to work.  There is no transition for these people because basically, their entire adult lives have been lived as retirees.  Their 24 hours a day are filled with activities that morph into a life well-lived. Kind of like the scientific principle of homeostasis. I have nothing against these people, other than it is difficult if not impossible to break into their club.  Once you’re ready to spend time with them, they are so set in their ways they want nothing to do with you. Especially if you can’t play Mahjong. D. The Leapers. This is my category-the retirees who are fortunate enough to stop working with enough financial resources to be comfortable-well, comfortable enough. But the individuals in this category haven’t planned a thing.  We take this huge leap of faith, figuring everything will work out. Many Leapers are like me; we don’t really have time to think about retirement when we’re working-because our work lives are too busy, too stressful, and we believe too important, and so we schedule think time for our post retirement lives.  Leapers like us, don’t look before we leap.  We think if we look-we’ll never leap, and then we’ll end up as Workers for the remainder of our days. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

First retirement challenge: Two weeks to plan my son’s second wedding.  Stay tuned for my next post.

July 2014

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