By Vincent Barbera, CFP®, MSFS
Everyone has dreams for their golden years, but what does retirement mean to you? Do you picture yourself spending your days on the golf course or traveling to your heart’s content? Or maybe you want to use your free time to dote on your grandchildren or just live at a slower pace.
For many, retirement conjures up images of carefree days, no responsibilities, and no schedule. While some can’t wait for that, others cringe at the thought of no structure or plans. If you find the idea of having nothing to do unappealing, or maybe even flat-out depressing, here’s a new definition of retirement to consider: Retirement doesn’t just mean not working; retirement simply means increased freedom for your time and finances.
Retirement is the much-awaited-for season of life that grants you the freedom to make decisions without your job dictating your choices. Gone are the days of stressing over how long you can be gone, how much time you can spend volunteering, or choosing between a vacation and a paycheck. This perspective will open many doors for you if you want to stay busy and active. Here are some possibilities for your unique retirement.
Work Your Dream Job
I’m not talking about the kind of job that most young college graduates dream of, where you have power, money, and influence. You may have had that during your working years. I’m talking about that exciting job, the one that makes your heart race when you think about it. A job you’ve always wanted to pursue but didn’t think it could pay the bills.
This kind of dream job could be working as Santa over the holidays, becoming a park ranger, hosting a class in a craft store, or starting a small business. When you are financially independent in retirement, low pay doesn’t have to keep you from taking on a job that you love.
Not everything worth doing generates a paycheck, but that doesn’t matter once you’re retired. Instead of spending long hours doing crossword puzzles, you may find more enjoyment in getting out and giving to your community.
Whether you volunteer by reading to children at your neighborhood elementary school, caring for animals at the local humane society, mentoring young adults coming out of the foster care system, or serving in your family’s church, the opportunities to volunteer are practically endless.
Invest In Your Family
If you ever felt guilty about spending long hours at work instead of with your family, now is the time to make that right. Retirement is the perfect opportunity to invest your time into the younger generations of your family. Be intentional about using this time to get to know your loved ones even better and to create some special memories they will cherish long after you are gone.
Do you have grandchildren in daycare or after-school care programs? Do you think they would be better off with a grandparent than a stranger? Now you have the ability to make that happen! Even if it is only one day a week, your grandchildren will be forever impacted by the time you spend pouring into their young lives.
Strengthen Your Mental Muscles
Did you ever dream of finishing that degree you started or going to law school? This is your chance to do just that. You have room in your schedule and you won’t even have to pay as much as you would have when you were younger. All states offer some type of free or reduced higher-education tuition for seniors. (1)
Also, studies have shown that the more you work your brain as you age, the longer it lasts. Cognitively active seniors with an average age of 80 are 2.6 times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s or dementia than those with less cognitive activity. (2) That’s another great reason to go back to school!
There is a strong correlation between age and successful entrepreneurship, and the numbers are in your favor. (3) Middle-age and older entrepreneurs experience much higher success rates than the younger ones. I guess your hard-earned life experience really does count for something! So, instead of seeing retirement as the end of your working life, it can actually be a rebirth—one where you call the shots.
How We Can Help
Whatever your dream retirement consists of, whether it’s entrepreneurship, grandchildren, or travel, my team at Newbridge Wealth Management can help you get there. For over a decade I have been helping people like you successfully invest for retirement and transition from being a wage earner to living off of their savings. If you want an experienced financial professional to guide you through these critical years and lead you to a purpose-driven future, schedule a free 15-minute introductory phone call online or reach out to us at email@example.com or 610.727.3960 to schedule a meeting today!
Vincent R. Barbera, CFP®, MSFS is a managing partner and co-founder of Newbridge Wealth Management, a private financial counseling firm located in Berwyn, Pennsylvania. Believing in a patient, disciplined approach to investment management that delivers value and peace of mind, he utilizes a process-driven approach to financial planning that provides comfort and clarity to his clients’ long-term goals. Along with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and business, he has a master’s degree in business and financial planning and Certified Financial Planner™ designation. Learn more by connecting with Vincent on LinkedIn, or send him questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.