How You View Retirement Determines How You Get There
As I was talking to a group of people recently, the subject of retirement came up. It got me thinking so I asked people in the crowed what retirement meant to them. I could have asked 100 people and received 100 different answers, but most of them would have a similar answer; “I want to retire from my job because my body is wearing out, my boss is a jerk, the company is awful to work for, etc.” The common theme in these answers was unhappiness and seeking a desire to escape their current situation.
On the other hand, there were a few people that looked at retirement a different way. They wanted to explore new opportunities, work in a completely different field, or experience challenges they hadn’t faced before. The way I see it, they wanted to retire to something. It wasn’t about escaping their current situation – it was about looking forward to something new.
I see a healthy retiring process in this second group, but the first group will incur some challenges.
The Limits of “Retiring From”
Those looking to retire from their current situation aren’t looking towards new opportunities. Rather, they are looking to cease. Retirement, by definition, is to be taken out of service. In nature, what has no purpose or is no longer of service rots and decays.
If we are to retire from something without the expectation of beginning something new, we rely on what is rather than what could be. Because of this, we must understand that we become a slave to 3 masters:
Interest rate: What am I getting from my safe money that I can’t afford to lose?
Taxes: What will my taxes look like when I take money out of my retirement account? Do I have non-taxable money?
Market outcome: What if the market goes down when I retire? Will it last the rest of my life, guaranteed?
“Retiring To” Means Embracing Change
Retiring to something requires planning. We must understand the process of building wealth to ensure that we do not become a slave to interest rates, taxes, and market outcomes. After all, how we pack our bags for our journey up the mountain to retirement will determine how we unpack or rearrange those assets on our journey down. In doing this, we will make a choice: retiring from a job or retiring to an opportunity.
Getting to retirement doesn’t have to leave you feeling worn out and defeated. With the right guide to help you navigate the peaks and valleys along the way, you’ll arrive at the summit of retirement ready to embrace the next part of your journey and face any challenges that may come your way.