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The Art Of Retirement Living

The Art Of Retirement Living

By Mike Drak

I was visiting my parents at the cemetery over Christmas and I noticed that they still hadn’t finished my mother’s plaque. There was her date of birth and the dash but they hadn’t inscribed the date that she had passed.

The more I thought about it I realized that the most important thing in our lives is the dash. We don’t get to chose our date of birth but we get to choose the dash part which for me means how I plan to live in my Victory Lap.

It’s my choice and my responsibility and it’s based on what matters to me. I even went one step further and said to myself why couldn’t I choose right now when I wanted to die.

Now don’t get me wrong I’m not talking about taking things into my own hands although I always dreamed about having one of those Viking funerals where they would push me in my fishing boat along with all my fishing equipment away from the shore in Temagami and the Contessa would shoot a flaming arrow into the gas tank. Now what I intend to do is to make reaching a healthy 95 a personal goal of mine and I believe I can do it by following the nine retirement principles.

FIND A ROLE MODEL AND DRAW INSPIRATION FROM THEIR ACTIONS

I decided upon this goal of mine after watching a video about John Carter age 90. Google “World’s Most Extreme Grandpa” and listen to his story because it’s an eyeopener and it’s something I really believe in.

I love hanging around guys like John because they remind me of what’s possible, and what I’m capable of over the next thirty years provided I do the right things. If John could do it, I can’t see any reason why I can’t do it as well.

Having another thirty healthy years at my disposal almost matches the time I put into my primary career and by comparing the two it’s easy to appreciate how much time that really is. More than enough time to do the things that I want to do and not have any regrets at the end of the game. Some Important retirement questions you need to answer:

• What is the vision for your retirement future?
• What is your retirement purpose and mission?
• Why do you exist?

It takes a lot of deep thinking to figure out where you want to go in retirement.

These questions are central to our retirement. We need to take responsibility for our retirement choices, our authenticity, our passion and commitment, our spirit and meaning, our growth and development. It’s a big mistake to just let retirement happen to you. Retirement should be fun or you are not doing it right.

“When you stop doing things for fun you might as well be dead.” – Hemingway

Everyone’s retirement vision should be based on one primary goal, having fun. When you focus on fun, everything else comes naturally. Retirement is more fun when you are healthy. It’s more fun when you eat well and are not overweight. It’s more fun when you spend quality time with people that you love and less time watching useless tv or wasting valuable time on social media.

My advice to you, fill your retirement with fun and engaging activities that will make you excited to get out of bed in the morning.

Travel more, build a business that you enjoy, take some dance or tennis lessons, instead of sitting on the couch complaining and being bored because boredom as we all know is a soul sucker! You only get one retirement so have as much fun with it as you can.

YOUR MISSION

My last blog talked about the important role our mind plays in our retirement and one of the important takeaways was if you think of yourself as old, or act old, you will be old so please stop thinking like that. Your mission should be to live retirement to the fullest and to be thoroughly used up when your time has come.

FIND YOUR TRIBE

It’s been proven that one of the main sources of happiness is the people we surround ourselves with. Here at Victory Lap Retirement we are in the process of connecting with people who think like us with the goal of joining the “Retirement Rebel” tribe. Gerry has ordered a bunch of Retirement Rebel wrist bands which we will be giving away at our presentations and to people who order books from the VLR website. I can’t wait for the first time I bump into someone at the gym or on the road wearing one of them. That sure would bring a smile to my eyes let me tell you. Now we just need to work on a secret handshake!

Here’s the video of the World’s Most Extreme Grandpa – may John inspire you too!

This post was originally published on Victory Lap Retirement and republished with permission.

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Mike Drak

Author, Retirement Coach and Public Speaker at Victory Lap Retirement
Mike Drak is a thirty-eight year veteran of the financial services and lives with his wife Melina in Toronto, Canada. Mike is the Author of the best-selling book Victory Lap Retirement and also an award winning blogger, retirement coach and public speaker. Mike has also appeared on BNN, CBC Radio and iHeart radio.
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