I think the experts have it wrong. There’s so much retirement advice that focusses on what one should DO before one retires. I think more emphasis should be about WHO YOU SHOULD BE. Let me explain.
Experts say you need to think about how you will fill up your extra time, how you’ll prevent boredom. They often say you need hobbies before you retire so you can continue these IN retirement. The problem is, while working, most people are working so hard at their jobs and with their families that they don’t have enough time to spend ON their hobbies. Some just don’t have balance in their lives. (What the heck is balance anyways?!)
And if you do have a hobby, like golfing, sorry to tell you but in retirement you won’t be golfing 24 hours a day and who knows if you’ll be golfing when you’re 95! (Granted, my aunt who is 96 IS still golfing!)
Sure, you could have hobbies like I did (running, biking, travelling) but I don’t think these made the difference. I believe there was ONE quality that made the transition much easier.
I LOVE TO LEARN
[and even better in France]
In the education field we keep talking about the importance of nurturing lifelong learners. Now I REALLY know why this is important….it’s not just for one’s working life, but especially for retirement.
So how does having a craving to learn make a difference? I am incredibly busy (and happy). Since retiring I have learned either on my own, from other people, through podcasts, or through courses on such things as how to code, use WordPress, plugins and Google Analytics.
I’ve spent time trying to improve my French and writing and now have a whole new vocabulary. It’s no longer IEP, IPRC, TPA, LTO, EQAO and exemplars, but rather, HTML, CSS, SEO, FTP, jQuery, WHOIS, MOZ, hashtags, pageviews, plugins, and Klout!
The world becomes your oyster as they say when you have a deep desire to learn. I become interested in something new, do Google searches and just LEARN all I can about the subject. Often it’s to fix a problem. [I’ve become the ‘computer help desk’ to friends and family].
Other times I’ll find myself “down the rabbit hole”. Once I decided I wanted to ensure my website wasn’t too slow. An innocent enough problem to solve, right? Then the rabbit hole suddenly opened up I fell in and had to learn more about Pingdom, photo optimization, and browser caching. WHAT?!
Preparing For Retirement
How should YOU prepare for retirement? Become a lifelong learner. Get into the habit of ‘being curious’ and if something interests you, pursue it or at least put the idea on a bookshelf for future investigation.
I think subconsciously I did this and was always intrigued about computers, writing, and new places in France. For those interested in learning new things about France here are a few suggestions:
- Check out some of the fiction and non fiction books shown on the right or on this resource page. One of my favourites is “100 Places In France Every Woman Should Go” (great for women AND men!)
- Listen to the podcast, “Join Us In France”. Perhaps start with the episode where I was interviewed!
Yes, I had (have) a bucket list and this has helped. Who would have guessed that all this new learning would have lead to a website about France? to meeting new people through TBEX. website workshops, and Facebook?
If you have this desire to learn, you’ll never be bored in retirement!
You might also like to read my post Career Mistakes And Escaping To France