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Setting Some Retirement Resolutions

Setting Some Retirement Resolutions

By Mike Drak

Our family tribe celebrated New Years in Punta Cana this year and we had a blast.

There were fifteen of us on the trip and we have already booked a trip to Vegas in October to celebrate my sixty fifth birthday. Life today is much tougher than what we boomers had to go through and these family get togethers help take some pressure off the kids and gives us all a chance to reconnect and spend some quality time together.

Early every morning I would order a pot of coffee from room service and sit out on the balcony by myself, and do a little self reflection before the Contessa woke up. Following are some of the things I thought about.

NARROW YOUR VISION

I’m always talking about increased longevity but for lifestyle planning purposes and goal setting it’s important not to plan too far out. Focus on today and what you want to accomplish and knock off your bucket list over the next three to five years. If you don’t get excited while doing this you need to reevaluate your plans and goals.

My overall retirement goal at this point is to be healthy enough and have enough money so I can do fun and exciting things with my friends and family for as long as I can.

LOSING WEIGHT

Chinese New Year 2019 is the year of the pig, how appropriate for me.

Seeing all those body types around the pool everyday in Punta Cana motivated me even more to lose the extra fifty pounds I put on while writing the books. I know the body type I want but it was hard to find it at the pool. Unlike those winter vacation commercials they like to show where everyone has a great bod, most people today are carrying around a lot of extra baggage and it was rare to find someone that I would consider to be in good shape which was a bit of an eyeopener.

It reminded me that I need to keep my health intact and be physically fit to do all the things that I have planned for the years ahead and I can’t do that being 50lbs overweight. My plan is to get healthier each year and peak out in terms of fitness in 5 years when I turn 70. After that I will maintain that level of fitness for as long as I can. If you want to join in on the fun, you can join me and some of my friends over at the Younger Next Year facebook group.

MAKING ART

This is a concept that I’ve been thinking about for a long time and I will be writing a blog article on it soon.

I have a strong need to achieve and help people and I accomplish that through my new work. That is just how I’m wired but is it really work when you love what you do or is it something else?

Since I’ve retired I’ve morphed into a motivation retirement speaker showing people what is possible in retirement. This by itself is amazing to me because it wasn’t that long ago that the idea of speaking in front of a group petrified me. But there’s more.

Public speaking is an art form to me and I spend a lot of time perfecting my craft similar to the work a comedian does before he/she goes on the road. It’s my art, I work on it constantly and it makes me feel good helping people when I get on stage and perform so I can’t call it work because it isn’t. My advice to you, try to find a way to produce your own art, and your retirement will be pretty good.

CREATE AND FOLLOWING A SCHEDULE

This is one of the key things that we lose when we leave work. To have a great retirement you need to create a weekly schedule to follow and establish new routines.

The first thing that you want to put on your schedule are your non-negotiables, your must no matter what to do’s, gym workouts, work, tribes, eldercare, date night with the spouse etc. After that you need to schedule the fun stuff, the stuff that really lights you up. This should always be a priority and don’t let other meaningless things get in their way. Make your schedule simple and fun. Carve out some reading time, time spent doing your hobbies, and time spent with friends. After that is done you can continue on through to your lower priorities, time for grocery shopping, vacuuming. cutting the lawn all the not so much fun but necessary stuff.

WATCH OUT FOR SCHEDULE CREEP

This happens when you exceed your time limits for any one task. You need to set strict time boundaries and make sure you don’t exceed them.

I was a victim of schedule creep when I was writing my book. Many times I allowed writing to take up most of my day, resulting in me failing to achieve my exercise goals which were just as important. It was a mistake that I’m still paying for.

MAKE EVERYDAY A LIVING MASTERPIECE

Retirement happiness for me is a beautiful sunrise, sharing a laugh with someone, a fish on the end of a line, hanging out with friends, and doing my art.

Everyday I look for more ways to add fun and excitement to my daily routine. My mission is to get my non negotiables done, do some fun stuff, and not waste energy on things that don’t matter.

This is what a perfect day looks like to me:

• I get up and work on my blog
• Have coffee, read the paper and watch the morning news
• Have a light breakfast
• Work out
• Have lunch with some friends
• Do some retirement coaching
• Maybe go fishing
• Go for a walk with the Contessa after dinner
• Maybe do a Victory Lap Retirement presentation

MY PERFECT YEAR

Ideally this would look like a bunch of perfect days strung together with some excursions thrown in which could be regular annual events or ‘specials.”

An example of a perfect year for me would include:

• Fishing trip to the George (Annual)
• Trip to Italy (Special)
• March bike camp in North Carolina (Special)
• Spend a month in the winter in Mexico (Annual)
• Ironman in Cozumel Mexico (Special)

Contrary to what your financial advisor might say just because you have accumulated a lot of cash doesn’t guarantee you a great retirement. I’ve met plenty of retirees who are cash rich and lifestyle poor because they haven’t put enough thought into exactly what they want/need out of retirement.

Personally, I don’t want to live an average retirement because I know that will end up boring me.

I’ve become a bit of a retirement rebel out of necessity and know that I can enjoy an awesome retirement by following the nine retirement principles and spending most of my time way outside my comfort zone.

Care to join me?

This post was originally posted 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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