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What’s Your Retirement Vision?

What’s Your Retirement Vision?

By Mike Drak

Four years ago I wouldn’t have been able to give you a good answer to the above question. I just kind of fell into retirement after being forced out of the only company I worked for after thirty-six years and it was a bit of a shock.

Today I’m a different person and have turned back into that lively and funny person that I remember – reclaiming the personality and interests I had in my twenties before I went to work in the corp.

I’m now at a point where all the pieces in my retirement have finally come together. I’m blessed with a loving family and friends, a great wife and I’m finally living the life I always wanted.

Having fun keeps you young

One of my favorite role models is that guy in “the most interesting man in the world” Dos Equis beer commercials (the one they recently retired). He is a person who sees value in having fun and lives each day to its fullest. He’s humorous and outrageous but never boring. “His only regret is not knowing what regret feels like.” I like his style and his tag line of “stay thirsty my friends.” He reminds me that retirement should be interesting and that is why I decided to become a “retirement rebel.”

The retirement rebels that I hang around with at the pool and gym continually remind me that a person’s age doesn’t mean anything. It’s only a number and not a definition of an individual’s physical or mental capabilities, and this is why we need to stop listening to age-based stereotypes that are simply not true. I swim with a retirement rebel who plans on celebrating his 80th birthday by attempting IRONMAN Florida and his wife celebrated her own 80th birthday last Saturday by doing a 2,000 meter swim.

Every day I notice more retirement rebels enjoying awesome lifestyles that they built on their own. They are ripping up the old rule book on aging and retirement. By refusing to let chronological age constrain and limit them, they love to show us what older people are capable of doing. It’s breathtaking to see what 90-year-olds are doing today and it’s improving every year.

My retirement vision is to maximize both the quality of my retirement, and the time I spend in retirement.

By following the retirement principles, I have a good shot at reaching age 90 in good health. That will give me 25 years of quality retirement, and with all the new medical advances who knows how many years I might have?

But what I do know is that having a successful retirement is not a contest about who lives the longest it’s about living the best retirement life possible.

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

To have a happy productive retirement you need to have a good handle on what makes you happy and what you need to do to make that happy happen. Fill your retirement with as many adventures as possible. Now is the time to dream about all the roads untravelled, the untapped potential within you, all the life you still have to live.

Establish some value-based goals that will stretch you beyond your current limits. It can be something challenging, such as climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, starting a new business, going back to school, or as simple as saving some money each month so you can go on that special fishing trip to Cuba that you’ve spent years dreaming about.

Foster a sense of curiosity about the world around you. Schedule a big trip to a country that you always wanted to visit and then spend the next year or two preparing for it. Learn something about the people, their history, the culture, local food, and learn to speak the language of the country you will be visiting. Also focus on getting in shape especially if there is a lot of walking involved.

At the end of the day retirement happiness includes a wide variety of experiences and memories. It’s activity with purpose. To avoid getting bored, constantly learn and try new things. Learn new technology, learn how to play a musical instrument, learn to play tennis and while you are at it why not learn to scuba?

Stay thirsty my friends!

If you’re not sure who “the most interesting man in the world” is – here’s one of the commercials that featured him.

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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