Don’t wait for retirement to do what you want to do. It might not come. I don’t want to sound alarmist or depressing, but carpe diem, man–seize the day.
One time at a job, I was talking with a colleague. She mentioned something that she wanted to do once she retired. I recall her dream was owning a small bookstore.
I said, “Why wait?” I told her that my approach was usually to find a way to do something now, instead of waiting.
Her answer centered mostly on the constraint of time. To be fair, she was a conscientious and overloaded worker who was also a dedicated parent to a teenager.
I wasn’t trying to brag. I just don’t see sense in waiting that long to do something that I want to do. At the time I was in my mid-40s but had already done many of the things people say that they want to do when they retire: own a business, go back to school, travel overseas, write a book, learn photography, remodel a house, play music, try to surf, take a long bike trip.
At that moment, I wondered if I’d have anything left for my retirement years, should I get there.
And that’s the issue–the retirement we envision is not guaranteed. Don’t live your life as if it is.
Life is is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.
Seven Reasons Why I Tell People Don’t Wait For Retirement
- You can die before you retire. Morbid, but true.
- You might not be healthy enough when you retire to do what you envision.
- Your retirement resources might not be enough. Many people are working well into their retirement years.
- Your opportunity might disappear before you retire.
- Someone else might beat you to your retirement idea for a book, a store, an art project.
- You may lose interest or talk yourself out of it over the years.
- If you wait to start something, you’ll be a beginner at 60+, instead of an expert with years of experience.