Years ago, I used to play The Game of Life with my young son. This board game has a fascinating history - it was created by Milton Bradley (yes, there was a real Milton Bradley) in 1860.
In the Game of Life version we played, after high school, you could choose either to go to college or start work immediately. You chose a profession, got married, had children, did various things, and ended up in one of two retirement villages, depending on how much money you had.
And then, I suppose, you drove into the sunset. As I recall, that's where the game ended. You added up your money and other assets and the player who had the most won.
Won. As if life was a competition. For some people, of course, it is. I'm not one of them.
For many people reading this blog, retirement may be years away. But today's NaBloPoMo's prompt is "What do you think you will be doing 10 years from now?" Retirement came immediately to mind. My spouse and I are both in our early 60's. We hope we can be retired by the time we are in our early 70's.
Yesterday, I asked my spouse where he would like to be in 10 years, and he responded "on this planet".
My spouse is a man of few words.
As for me, I wonder about retirement, because I know several people around my age, and even younger, who are retired. Some retired voluntarily. At least three of them retired to take care of elderly parents and stayed retired when the parents left the planet. Several retired when their employers, long time employers decided they were not needed anymore.
Some had no choice about what they were going to do once retired (the caregivers). Others had no time to think of it before it happened. But I also know several people who retired, with high expectations, and found themselves working again (generally not for the same employers they retired from) within a matter of months.
Guess that sunset wasn't too attractive. One man was plain bored. Several discovered they missed income coming in.
So I wonder: if I want to be retired in 10 years, what for me, makes a successful retirement?
|Astilbe, My Back Yard, late June 2014|
Retirement has to be more than growing flowers.
|Community Garden, Otsiningo Park, early June 2014|
My spouse wants to garden, but the growing season here in upstate New York is barely six months long. There is an interest he's passionate about, and I suspect he will engage in that. (And no, it's not golf.)
|Motel, Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina|
After working for so much of our lives, so much of our identities, and our interactions with others, is work place related. So we must make sure these needs are taken care of. Retirement planning is a lot more than making sure you have enough money.
So, the short answer: doing things we love to do. Maybe even, still blogging, if blogging still exists.
Where do you want to be in 10 years?