PURPOSE IN RETIREMENT AND YOUR THREE CORE PURSUITS

Ageism Dapper Man
Purpose & Mission

HAVE A PURPOSE IN RETIREMENT

When I ask people what their thoughts are about retirement a common answer I get is “I don’t know what I’d do with myself self” or as one wife said to me “If he retires, one of us would be dead in 3 months”. We’ve spent the last 40 odd years buried in careers, parenthood, taking care of our parents, and grandparenthood. We haven’t had the time or desire to develop outside interests that we could carry over into our retirement. The result is we don’t have anything to occupy our minds and time when we retire. This can result in boredom, depression, and friction at home especially when we start injecting ourselves into things that have been running just fine without us.

When the topic of retirement planning comes up, most of the time it’s about financial planning. What is left out is planning how we are going to live in retirement and the attitude required. Retirement should not be approached as the end of something, but as the beginning of a new phase of life and that requires a shift in our mindset.

“Retire from work, but not from life”

M.K. Soni via Julia Cameron

3 CORE PURSUITS

In an Inc. Magazine article by @jeff-hayden https://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/10-surprisingly-attainable-traits-of-a-very-happy-retirement.html, he recommends having 3.5 core pursuits in retirement. You need 3.5 activities and interests that you can focus your attention on, things that you enjoy and you feel good doing.  As an example, my 3 core pursuits (I don’t do .5 of anything very well) are this blog, becoming president of our condo association and maximizing my fitness.

MY 3 CORE PURSUITS

  1. The blog is fun and challenging at the same time. I enjoy the research I have to do and I’m working hard to take my writing skills out of the Stone Age. There is also the tech education that goes along with it. Learning the software and all the mumbo-jumbo that goes along with it has been interesting.
  2. My experience as an executive in the construction industry had me being in charge of things. So when an opening of our condo board opened up I threw my hat into the ring. I did a bit of campaigning and at our last annual meeting was elected. I was told that all I had to do was to show up to the monthly meetings. But my nature wouldn’t let that happen. And now that I wiggled my way into being president of the condo association when there are projects going on like roofing, deck replacements, or tree trimming I’m knee-deep in them.
  3. I wrote in an earlier post about the importance of taking care of your body as you get older.https://yourextrainnings.com/taking-care-of-you-in-order-delay-your-retirement/ I’m committed to fitness and schedule the time to make it happen. I don’t walk every day but my goal is to reach a daily average of 7,500 steps. My January average was 7,488 which included a few days off with the flu, so I’m happy. I also do 3 to 4 days a week of strength training.

“Retirement is a time to experience a fulfilling life derived from many enjoyable and rewarding experiences”

Ernie J. Zelinski

THINK AHEAD

You need to be thinking ahead. Don’t enter or approach retirement without having at least a couple of your core pursuits figured out. Give yourself plenty of time. Is there anything you used to love to do but the years have caused you to abandon? I have a neighbor who has a Ph.D. in mathematics and had a solid career teaching. When he was a kid he learned to play the organ at a high level but he drifted away from it as he got older. Later in life, he re-fired his passion for playing music and today he has a great part-time retirement job as music director at our church.

Think back to when you were 13. Was there anything you loved to do? Did you have any hobbies you abandoned as life took over? Can they be converted to retirement pursuits?

Here are some examples:

  • Love basketball or softball? Does your local youth sports league need a scorekeeper?
  • Like nature walks? Look for a local hiking club to join. I have a neighbor who organizes senior-friendly local hikes.
  • Are you an avid reader? Local libraries can use volunteers.
  • If you’re into cars, maybe a part-time job at your local auto-parts store would be perfect.
Your Move

DON’T DRIFT INTO YOUR EXTRA INNINGS / BE INTENTIONAL

When people struggle with downshifting their careers into retirement, a big reason is the sudden lack of purpose. We daydream about the leisure life, sitting out on the deck with a coffee when others are driving to work. It sounds great and it is initially, but slowly, over time avoid starts to grow in your life. The sense of importance, of having a purpose is no longer there. Even though it felt like a burden, the drive to get out of bed in the morning to do your job is gone and could become a problem.

“The joy of retirement comes in those everyday pursuits that embrace the joys of life”

Byron Pulsiffer

If you’re like me, around 60 years old, we have on average another 20-30 years to go. I could have another quarter or more of my life in front of me. In order to live these years well, you need a reason to get up in the morning. I’m not talking about perfecting human brain transplants, but I am talking about having core pursuits that keep you engaged in life.

Start today. Take the time to visualize what your retirement years will be like and what would you be doing if you are happy, healthy and loving life. Now get to work creating your 3.5 core pursuits.

A Newsletter From The Dugout

It’s hard to decide on a topic to write a blog post about. I’m tapped into so many resources and experts in the retirement arena that it’s a challenge to pick one thing to focus on. (Baby Boomer onset ADD?) So this week I want to share a few of the value nuggets that came across my Wi-Fi recently.

Baseball Glove & Balls

How does the SECURE Act affect your retirement planning?  

2019 ended with the Setting Every Community Up For Retirement Enhancement – SECURE Act being signed into law. It’s the most comprehensive piece of retirement legislation passed in a long time. It covers new required minimum distribution rules, increased access to retirement plans, and increase lifetime income in retirement plans. You should be aware of the specifics of the law in order to stay on top of your planning. Here are the details from Investopedia.com https://www.investopedia.com/what-is-secure-act-how-affect-retirement-4692743

Lifelong Learning and The 60 Year Curriculum.

A group at Harvard University has begun a program called The Sixty Year Curriculum. Its focus is on the development of a new educational framework for teaching new skills in all phases of life. With increased lifespans and career lengths, we will need to be continually updating our skills. This program is aiming at formalizing the process of Lifelong Learning. Here is a link to an article with the details:  https://wallyboston.com/60-year-curriculum/

Health Matters (A Lot)

Intermittent Fasting is all over the news, and I’m happy about it. I started my IF routine in earnest about a year ago. I do a 16 hour fast that ends with a healthy lunch. While it took some getting used to with just water, black coffee, and green tea until noon, I’m committed.  In that time I’ve gone from 38” waist pants down to 33” and my total cholesterol is down 20 points. Peter Attia MD is one of the worldwide experts on longevity and health. In Episode 89 of his podcast, Peter answers a wide range of questions from subscribers on fasting.  https://peterattiamd.com/ama11/

Age Issues – OK Boomer

I finally paid attention to this “OK Boomer” thing. It all started early last year in response to an online video that went viral where an older fellow says “millennials and Generation Z have the Peter Pan syndrome: they don’t ever want to grow up.” As a result, OK Boomer became a catchphrase for younger people to mock the negative attitudes that Baby Boomer may show towards them. When a Boomer says something like “You kids don’t know what hard work is”, the response would be “OK Boomer”. It has taken a more serious turn with it being used in reply to the negative impact that the younger folk think Baby Boomers are having on the environment, real estate, and the economy. Heck, it’s even made it to the US Supreme Court. The BBC has an article that covers the OK Boomer phenomena https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-51132554

For Your Viewing Pleasure

General Magic is a fantastic documentary about one of the most important tech company you’ve never heard of. General Magic created the first smartphone with one problem, they were way ahead of the technology and the company failed. But what they created and the people that worked on it went on to develop the iPhone. It’s an amazing story of technology, business, and ego.   https://www.generalmagicthemovie.com/

Quote Of Wisdom: “Everything is a once in a lifetime experience” – Life Is Good tee-shirt

DOLLARS AND COMMON SENSE.

I bet it’s no surprise to hear that the #1 concern people have about retirement is not having saved enough. There are so many uncertainties that impact your retirement finances such as: “How long am I going to live?” “How much is healthcare going to cost?” ”Are we going to have another major recession?” “Am I going to stay healthy?” While you can’t control those, there are things you can do to be in more control of your finances.

Retirement Savings
Retirement Savings

The Fiduciary Rule

Most people use financial advisors who get their income by selling financial products like annuities and IRA’s. I’m not accusing anyone of ripping people off, but if an advisor gets a higher commission for selling one financial product over another, is the advisor making the best recommendation to you? If scoring another $200,000 IRA qualifies him for the Grand Cayman trip his wife wants, will he suggest the right product for your needs? In 2015, the federal government proposed The Fiduciary Rule. This rule would have made it a requirement that our financial advisor has to work in our best interest. What a novel idea! Here is a link to an article with all the details.https://www.marketwatch.com/story/is-the-fiduciary-rule-dead-or-alive-what-its-fate-means-to-you-2018-03-16

But like a lot of things in Washington, the financial services industry fought it and won, and you and I lost. Since the rule was shot down, we can’t assume we’re getting the best advice. We need to remain in control.

Financial stuff can be complicated, but you can learn enough to know if you are getting the best advice. I didn’t intend to blog much on financial stuff. I’m not a financial guy and I don’t play one on TV. But there are plenty of great resources I can point you to that provide solid education and advice. I’m not recommending that you gain enough knowledge to open an online trading account and risk it all. But I am suggesting that you put in the effort to get smart enough to help steer your financial ship.

My Favorite Financial Blogs

These are the financial blogs that I go to and recommend the most. I like to follow a few different ones to get various points of view that allow me to make the best decisions for us. I suggest you start at the beginning of their blogs and work your way through them.

  • Retirement Manifesto https://www.theretirementmanifesto.com/blog/ Fritz began his blog while he was preparing for his retirement and has continued it upon his freedom. He offers great advice and commentary in an easy to understand way. Fritz provides templates and planners that are very useful. He has gained a good enough reputation to have a few thousand followers and a book deal.
  • Can I Retire Yet? https://www.caniretireyet.com/ One of Darrow’s books is called Can I Retire Yet. I’ve gone through the book enough times, with different highlighter colors that the inside of the book looks like the cover of fruit Lifesavers. His ongoing blog covers things from using online retirement calculators, traveling, real estate and healthcare, just to start.
  • Early Retirement Now https://earlyretirementnow.com/ Big ERN, not his real name, has a really deep financial pedigree and can dive into the details to the point that my eyes cross, but he is worth the effort. He covers topics that help various age groups and I’ve been made a smarter man because of ERN.

These blogs are a good start to your financial self-education. My previous post “Downsizing Equals Rightsizing” includes some of the tips and strategies gained during my own self-education. https://yourextrainnings.com/downsizing-equals-rightsizing/          

It’s never too late to start your financial education, but it’s dangerous not to.

Your Extra Innings