Retirement Head Games


January 12, 2019…a big day for me. It’s the date I chose for my mandatory retirement. I can retire earlier, but no later than that date. It’s a long story, but ultimately, knowing specific retirement dates helps my employer with personnel planning and there are financial benefits for me.

After spending 30 years (or 35 years in 2019), working for the City of Denver, even thinking about retirement causes some concerns. Financially, I should be comfortable, but what about everything else?

I set the date knowing I have five years to work it all out. My niece, Shoshanna, hit the nail on the head when she suggested the limitless possibilities scare the shit out of me. I hadn’t thought about it until then, but she’s right.

Just think, I could:

  • Move to almost any place in the world, finances and laws permitting
  • Write a book or books
  • Volunteer for a vast number of organizations
  • Run for office (just kidding)
  • Explore the world
  • Be a full time couch potato (an option I’m not considering)
  • Change the world
  • Earn another degree
  • Start a new career

I know retirement will be here before I know it so I’m trying to make a road map.

There are plenty of resources about financially planning for retirement, but I haven’t seen many talking about how to transition into retirement. Here are the questions I hope to answer before then.

  • What do I love to do that I’d like to spend more time doing?
  • How can I make a positive contribution after I am no longer working full-time?
  • How do I challenge myself to continue to learn and grow?
  • How do I maintain my relationships and develop new ones?
  • How do I make sure my retirement is amazing?
  • What can I do now, and in the next few years, to make my transition easier?
  • How to I stay motivated to be active and healthy?

I don’t have the answers yet, but I’ve begun the journey. If you, or someone you know, has any suggestions, I’m all ears…

A Work In Progress

stickerLooking back over the years, I remember having lists of things to accomplish. Sometimes they were just a fixture in my brain, while others I actually wrote down and revisited on a regular basis. A lot of amazing things came as a result of working toward these goals.

I’m not sure when I stopped paying attention and let life run its course. Not that things have been bad, but I think I settled in and stopped stretching. It’s amazing how much the world can shrink when I let myself get into a rut. There’s so much more out there and I’m not done learning, creating and contributing.

After almost thirty years in my current job, I’ve set my retirement date on or before January 12th, 2019. It’s a scary thought in some ways and very exciting in others. When I think of retirement, it’s really just leaving my current job to move on to my next adventure. What is it? I’m not quite sure.

Five years seems like a long time, but I know it will pass quickly. So, over the next few weeks, I’ll begin putting together my list of things to accomplish. This time, they’ll all be in writing.

My life, even at almost 55, is a work in progress. Now, where should I begin?