If there’s one piece of advice that I give consistently it’s to never give up on your retirement dreams. The second piece of advice is that if you don’t have any dreams, start creating them. This website is all about making the most of this time of your life: your retired years. This is the time to do or try all of the things you had a desire to do and to go to the places that you have always dreamed about. No one is given a blank check on life in terms of time or money. It’s up to each one of us to make the most out of what we have. Retirement is not the time to slink off to the sidelines. It’s time to make every one of your retirement dreams a reality.
From my experience there are three different groups of retired people. The first group is the one that sees life as an adventure and is making the most of every day. That’s the group I always want to be in. The second group has no idea what to do with themselves and feels life is boring and there’s not much you can do about it. For those people, my advice is to wake up and explore this wonderful world that we live in. Find a quiet place and start making a list of all the things you have thought about doing in your life and go back as far as you can. Wasn’t there something you had always thought about doing? Was there an activity that you always wanted to try? Were there places that you wanted to go? Be honest and list everything. Nothing should be eliminated and nothing should be judged. The list you are making is the blueprint for the future. It should be an exciting list and it should get your brain in gear to think of even more things to try and do. Keep your list handy at all times because you will think of more things if you’re really serious about this effort. The dreams of our past can become our retirement dreams come true. Does that sound unbelievable or like some sales pitch? Believe me, it’s not. And that brings me to the third group of people.
The third group of people is probably the largest and they are the ones who let their retirement dreams fade and, ultimately, die. That’s very sad and totally avoidable if you keep an open mind about how to rekindle those retirement dreams. There are some very good reasons that people reference to explain their attitude of letting life pass them by. Money, health, spouse, family or other obligations are constantly brought up by people in my conversations with them. Some of them are very valid and true obstacles in living out their retirement dreams. Please notice I said “some” because, for the most part, with a little creativity, there are ways to get closer than you think to achieving some of your retirement dreams.
The big question always seems to be money. But there are things you can do if you discover that there is a dream that’s so important you just can’t let it die. Budgets are important and most people can cut more expenses than they think. I know one couple who cut their television cable bill down to almost nothing and started cooking at home. They shopped around for their insurance needs and found much better premiums. They joined their local senior citizens club and are now going on the trip of their dreams. Rome and Italy were places they had almost given up on. What they found out was that if they had a strong enough desire, they could make it happen. Don’t give up on your retirement dreams – ever!
Aging and health are, in some ways, even bigger obstacles than a lack of money. While it’s true that you may have to modify your dream a little bit, it doesn’t mean you still can’t have a similar thrill. A friend of mine knows his dream of being a shortstop for the New York Yankees may be over, but it doesn’t mean he can’t look forward to his weekly senior league softball game. It’s the highlight of his week. For many of our friends who dreamed of being a tennis star, the pickleball court holds more excitement and challenge than they ever thought possible.
Another friend of mine has taken a songwriting course and is taking the stage in some local venues. You can’t believe the smile on his face. He was inspired by a friend of his who always wanted to be a pilot but, because of poor eyesight and being over sixty, he had almost given up. While flying a small drone with a camera attached isn’t quite the same thing, it’s inspired him to explore getting a license with the FAA and turning his hobby into a business.
There are all kinds of things you can do to rekindle your retirement dreams and bring purpose and a little excitement to your life. We have a chance to do it when we’re young and some go on to live out their dream. For most of us, me included, we get caught up in making a living and providing for a family working at a job we tolerate or even hate. I was determined not to make the most of my retirement years. I can’t say I ever had a career goal, but I knew I liked to learn about different things and explore subjects that interested me. I also like to write. This website is the product of my own personal inventory of unfilled desires. Travel, theater and fine dining are other things that I love, but with this website, I can explore all of them. And by writing about them and posting a picture here and there, I’ve encountered many people who have been inspired by what I’ve written and dusted off their retirement dreams. I hope this inspires you to do the same. It’s time to Enjoy Retired Life!
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