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The Pandemic Shows Us How Boring Retirement Can Be

The Pandemic Shows Us How Boring Retirement Can Be

By Mike Drak

I like to ponder on things and I thought I would share some thoughts arising out of the pandemic relating to time and personal freedom. I found them interesting and hopefully you feel the same way.

COVID-19 taught us how boring retirement must be when you have more free time than you know what to do with. Before the pandemic, people complained about not having enough time to do things, and then many of them quickly had too much time on their hands. Sure sounds a lot like Retirement Hell to me.

During the self-isolation and enforced downtime of the pandemic, time slowed to a crawl for those who suddenly couldn’t work. The days became a blur; you had trouble remembering what day it was because it didn’t matter. Everyday was similar to the next: watching news of the virus on TV and making calls to family and friends to see how they were doing. Without a plan for how to use your time, this is how dull your retirement could be too.

A Long Life versus A Good Life

By making healthstyle choices you increase the odds of having decades of healthy living ahead of you, but does a longer life really matter if that extra time you gain sucks? It would be such a waste to spend your extra time doing nothing, being bored, and complaining about it all the time. The goal isn’t just about adding years to your life, it’s all about adding quality life to those extra years.

The smart ones among us will use their time before they retire to plan for and take the steps required to create the retirement lifestyle they always dreamed about. They know the direction they want their retirement to take, focusing on the things that will bring happiness and fulfillment. They want their third stage to be one of growth and development, and not one filled with boredom and regret. Remember, we’re going for Retirement Heaven here, not Retirement Hell.

Time Is Something You Can Never Get Back

We should remember that we all have an expiration date and that our retirement time is finite. We only get the next hour once, and then it’s gone forever.

So, choices about how you spend or invest your retirement time come with real opportunity costs. Next week, the time you spend watching Netflix or on social media won’t matter much in the long run. But if you invest that time creating new memories or learning something new, you will remember it forever.

The opportunity cost of time is the key to making decisions in retirement. Once you know the value of the alternatives you’re giving up, you can be smarter about what you’re choosing to do.

Successful retirees know time is more valuable than money, and that unlike money, time cannot be replaced when it passes. They realize that when you’re dead, you’re dead, and you only get today once. That’s why they are so protective of the clock and make every minute count.

Bottom line; every retiree gets the same 24 hours and each retiree has the choice on how to spend that time. You can spend that time doing the same boring things you did yesterday or you can use that time to make sure that tomorrow will be better than today.

COVID-19 Also Stole Our Freedom

“You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.” – Joni Mitchell

Time is important but so is having the freedom to use that time any way that we want. Being forced to self isolate due to the pandemic made us appreciate things for their absence. The simple pleasure associated with a dinner out, being able to go see a movie, work out at a fitness center or spend time together with friends.

One day we will get our freedom back and we don’t want to waste that freedom (time) doing things that really don’t matter.

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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.