If you’ve read TOM the last few weeks I am sure you have gathered that I am a HUGE sports fan. And, if you are a sports fan like me, you know how difficult these last few months have been with so little to satisfy your sports appetite.
The silver lining of this lack of live sports, for me, has been these top-notch documentaries reliving some of sports biggest moments. Docuseries like The Last Dance, recounting the 6-time champion Chicago Bulls or Lance, the series on the doping scandal of Lance Armstrong, truly great films that provide a ton of behind the scenes content that adds so much to the story.
Interestingly enough, my greatest takeaway from all of my documentary watching is that – these athletes don’t love retirement. Whether it’s the glow in their eyes when they recollect that BIG moment in their playing history or the fiery tenacity you hear in their voice when they rehash a rivalry. They miss much more than the game and they never imagined what life after their respective sports would be like.
Now, as for you and me, we aren’t going to hit the game-winning shot at the buzzer in game 7 and we aren’t going to sprint through the cycling finish line at the Tour De France to win the yellow jersey. BUT we do “compete” every day in our business lives, to win a contract, to earn a promotion, to make partner, just to name a few. We find our purpose, calling, and value in what we do and what we are good at.
Today’s article is about that day we hang up our occupation and step into retirement. The question is, will you love it?
Love It or Leave It
The past few months may have given you a taste of what retirement is like. Maybe you’ve been working from home or on furlough or whatever your circumstances have been. Your schedule has changed, and your routine has been flipped upside down. You’ve found some free time and absolutely don’t know what to do with it. The extra allocation to social media and Netflix isn’t fulfilling, so you are left wondering – is this what retirement is going to be like? You’ve worked your entire life and is ‘this’ all there is?
Retirement is often talked about like a finish line. You subconsciously adopt this belief that if you work hard and save diligently that you will one day be rewarded with this grandiose opportunity to… do a kind of “nothing”. Nothing in this case really has to do with the freedom to choose what you want to do, not having to be dictated by the responsibility of a job.
In the world of financial planning, we spend countless hours calculating and crafting a plan so that one can afford to retire, but we spend very little time discussing what one will do.
It’s one thing to decipher how you will spend your money and a whole other to map out how you will spend your time.
So, what’s YOUR plan?
Let me help you brainstorm. A friend once asked me this thought-provoking question, if you had all the money in the world what would you do for work? This question removes the financial constraints that we factor into career pathing and allows us to just dream.
For some, this will look like a 2nd career, for others, it will be volunteering at their favorite non-profit, and for some, it will mean starting that business they’ve always dreamed about. Retirement doesn’t have to be the finish line, it can be the starting line.
We spend our working years and our careers establishing ourselves and providing for our families. This transition to retirement is an opportunity for us to begin investing in our legacy – what do you want to be remembered for? Microsoft made Bill Gates a household name, but perhaps the Gates Foundation will be the legacy that he is remembered for.
Here’s my encouragement – dream big. Talk to friends, family, and mentors and begin to investigate what you want this legacy to look like. I believe it will be a combination of your God-given talents, the experience you’ve accumulated, and your deepest passions. The collision of these unique qualities that make you who you are will be exactly what fuels a fulfilling retirement.
I remember talking to a friend when I was amidst a career transition and she put it this way, “You’ve got to do what makes your heart sing.” This advice has always stuck with me and I pass along this same encouragement to you. Build out a retirement plan that makes your heart sing.
Love who you are, not what you do
Today’s discussion opened up with sports, so I figured it only appropriate to close us out on the same topic. I’ve read a few headlines recently rumoring that Mike Tyson is talking about coming back to the ring. This is 53-year old Mike Tyson and I’ve seen video clips of him in training – it’s unbelievable! We all know Tyson has had a rough go at it post boxing career, but hey, what does the guy LOVE to do? He loves to box. So there you go, maybe retirement isn’t about hanging up the gloves, but it’s all about getting back in the ring.