You Can be Happy in Retirement

You can be happy in retirement but you must have a plan. Have you given serious thought to what your life will be like when you retire? I hope this story inspires you. It certainly inspires me.

Bill is a plasterer from late October through May, living in a suburb outside of Boston with his wife and teenage son. Come June and into October, he lives in a small town in northern Italy leading bicycle tours and providing concierge services to cyclists and their families. (Check out his website: His wife works from September to June running catering for an Italian restaurant and taking shifts as a waitress when needed and then, once school is out, she and their son join Bill for the summer spending time with family and friends.

Are they rich? Financially, they do just fine and yet in terms of lifestyle, fulfillment and relationships, absolutely yes! Having been a career consultant for more than twenty years, I’ve met many accomplished professionals who were miserable at work, waiting for the day when they can retire and finally do what they want to do. And then, when they get to that point, they are unfulfilled. Don’t wait until you retire to begin to craft the life you desire. Many people who create the life they imagine continue this lifestyle well beyond “retirement age.”

Ask yourself, “what do I want my retirement to look like?” and write it down. Stop and think about this now! What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

Here are areas of life to consider when planning your retirement invention:

1. Family

2. Friends

3. Adventure

4. Environment

5. Health and Wellness

6. Intellectual Life

7. Spiritual Life

8. Work

9. Community

10. Creativity

Will you travel, volunteer at a local non-profit, spend more time with family and friends? Where will you live? Perhaps you will pursue a hobby, continue your education or start a business. Benjamin Franklin is acknowledged for having said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”  People often spend more time planning their vacations than they do planning their lives. Our goals may change as we grow older and experience new things and that’s good; yet, without a goal and a plan for our desired retirement, the chances of being happy and fulfilled will be left to circumstances and chance. Don’t let that happen to you!


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