Life has been so busy lately that I haven’t had time to read much, but now that things are getting a bit better, I can catch up with a few blogs. Earlier this week, I read What is the ideal retirement at Free Money Finance? and it gave me the incentive to write more about this topic. Basically, we are living much longer these days and the old model of leaving work at 65 and enjoying a few years of idle retirement doesn’t work well anymore. The Baby Boomers will spend much more time in retirement and the following generations can expect to do the same.
Our parents (Boomers) are figuring out ways to retire differently and that’s great because it will give us some examples of what to do. I know that I don’t want to quit working at 65 and then lounge around the pool for 20+ years. Baby Boomers are still healthy at 60 and they want to continue to contribute to society.
Here is the list of 5 things that makes a great retirement according to the original article at TIME.
- Financial Freedom – The key is to be able to pursue your passion while having enough money to live comfortably. For some this can mean working in a job you enjoy.
- Purpose – You need a reason to get out of bed. Life is boring if you don’t have a purpose.
- Good Health – You need to be healthy to enjoy your retirement.
- Close Relationships – Retirement is more fun when you have some people to spend time with.
- Giving Back – Help the world become a better place and set a good example for the younger folks.
Retirement really needs to be divided into at least 2 phases. The first part is when you’re healthy and active. The second part is when you’re ready to relax. For Boomers, they can retire in their 60′s and spend a good decade or two living a more active retirement. As their health deteriorates (depressing to think about), they can transition to a more idle retirement.
My Ideal Active Retirement
The active first phase of retirement is what we don’t have a good word for. I’ve heard semi-retired, pretired, second act, and more. This is the “ideal retirement” I am striving for. We’ll be healthy enough to enjoy life and do the things we love. The second part of retirement will be relaxing and a bit boring, but I think we’ll be ready for it when we’re 75. I’ll worry about that part later.
So to get to the ideal retirement, here is my plan for those 5 things.
- Financial Freedom – I saved and invested through my 20′s and 30′s and built up a moderate retirement portfolio. In my 40′s, I left the stressful corporate job and became a blogger/stay at home dad. I make just enough money to live on without having to dip into our retirement accounts.
- Purpose – This one is a little tough. Being a stay at home dad will keep me busy for a long time. The blog is great, too. I’m still having fun and it’s a great way to connect with like minded people.
- Good Health – I’m still young, so my health is not too bad right now. I am trying to get back in shape so I will stay healthy as I age.
- Close Relationships – I have a good relationship with my immediate family. I think the big change would be when Mrs. RB40 retires. We’ll see how we deal with that when the day comes. It’s still a way off so I’m not going to worry about it yet.
- Giving Back – This one is very difficult for me. I’m not very good at giving back and I will need to find ways to improve. For now, I just communicate through this blog and give some hope to all the cubicle dwellers out there. Once I have more time, I need to do more local projects.
I feel like I’m living my ideal retirement right now. It can get a bit hectic sometimes, but I think once we sell our rental, life will be a little simpler. These days, I work on the blog a few hours per day and then enjoy the rest of the time with my active 3 year old son. Sure, more money would be nice, but we are quite comfortable with our level of spending at the moment. I can see myself doing this for 20+ years, but who knows… I might get bored of blogging at some point. I’m sure I’d find something else to do, though.
The bottom line is you need to create your own ideal retirement. When a retiree is still young and healthy, he/she should be more active and even work a little bit. Life is really more enjoyable when you’re a little busy.
What do you think? What’s your ideal retirement? Do you think it should be split into 2 parts like I proposed?
See how my Exit Strategy worked out after 1 year.
Photo credit: flickr ALL CHROME