For many career professionals, retirement is not traditionally a word to rejoice at hearing. Not only does it signal an end to doing work that they are passionate about, it can also indicate a loss of purpose and strongly connote an end to life itself. However, with people expected to live longer today than ever before, retirement is not so much an ending as it is a new beginning, offering people the chance to pursue their passions and new opportunities for meaning in their lives.
Today, leaving the traditional full-time work environment does not need to translate into golf, bingo, and rocking back and forth on the porch unless that is what the retiree wants. Professionals increasingly see the first weeks and months of retirement as an opportunity to take some time to plan the next stage of their lives. Following this brief period of transition, their new beginnings include continuing to work in their original or related fields in an advisory or consulting capacity, focusing on service ventures that benefit their communities, or becoming involved with other projects that fill them with purpose and satisfy them on an intellectual and personal level.
Another benefit of retiring in today’s dynamic world is that it enables people to enjoy more time with their families, travel, or follow through with other personal goals that improve the quality of their lives, all while they keep up with their professional interests. An increasing number of professionals transitioning out of the full-time workforce choose to travel abroad with their spouses and explore places they did not previously imagine they would see. It fills their lives with excitement and new experiences, and with the right mix of retirement saving strategies such as hybrid annuities and Roth IRAs, they do not need to sell all of their possessions to enjoy each other’s company while exploring the world.
Regardless of what work or activities people choose to pursue in retirement, it takes time—between just a few weeks and several months—to adjust to new circumstances and create new routines, so allowing for patience and exploration is important. However, despite the need for patience and some potential initial challenges to making adjustments to a new kind of lifestyle, many people find the process of reinventing and reinvigorating themselves to be fun. The evolutionary aspect of it also helps ward off the perception that retirement comes with an unattractive finality.