The Real Secret to a Happy Retirement

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I just heard a story from a friend who is 67-years young. Patsy is beautiful, vibrant, hilarious and fun, fun, fun.  She told me that she recently asked her 86-year old mom when she might expect to find herself living her “Golden Years.”

Her Mom laughed and said “Are you kidding?  I just asked my 93 year old cousin the same thing! You might as well stop wishing.”

Based on that, Patsy then gave me this excellent advice. “You just have to go out and live,” she said. “Enjoy every minute of the good, the bad and the ugly … and do it NOW! Laugh as often as possible, sing or dance every day and tell every story bigger than it was.”

I liked what Patsy had to say and think that it contains a very important nugget ~ the “Golden Years” are not necessarily what they used to seem to be.

We are all living longer, healthier lives.  Most people of retirement age are not even remotely interested in quitting and sitting and watching life happen around them. They are up for being involved and interested.  It may be a slower life they are looking for, but hardly anyone is interested in just plopping down, doing nothing.

I asked Patsy if she had retired.  She exclaimed “Heck, no!  I tried retirement and I bored myself silly.  Plus, my husband and I would get on each other’s nerves day and night!  I’ve GOT to get out of the house and be productive.”   She currently works part-time as a book keeper at a salon.  It’s what she had been doing for 25 years and she’s good at it — she just didn’t want to do it 8-10 hours a day.  She chose her hours, made a little extra money and helped a new business get off the ground.

Believe it or not, that is a snap-shot of what many “retirees” are doing in the 21st century. Whether it’s helping a nephew build a new barn or helping a salon get off the ground, they are working well past their “retirement” date.

The biggest secret that I’ve learned about retirement is that people are not retiring at all.  They are finding things that make them feel alive, productive and needed and making a little extra income and working to make the world a better place in which to live.  Choose what makes you feel alive and pursue it with a vengeance!