Monday I wrote about a TED video by Tim Brown, on the subject design. It challenged me to consider a question that I think is on the minds of many Boomers and Gen-Xers about how they are going to reinvent retirement in this modern world. The question is:
How can Boomers and Gen-Xers enjoy the benefits of retirement while at the same time remaining active, productive, and profitable members of our modern society?
What this question boils down to is a matter of lifestyle design. By this I mean how the whole of a person’s life (family, health, community, dreams, purpose, etc.) fits together in a homogeneous way and provides benefit and blessing both to themselves and to those they interact with on a regular basis.
You see, retirement, by my definition does not mean to stop working altogether (most people cannot/don’t want to do this) but to transition into a lifestyle that allows for you to be more in control of your time, talents, efforts, and the direction of your life travel.
How can a Boomer/Gen-Xer wake up in the morning and engage in activities that they choose, while maintaining an active, productive, and profitable life? What can they do to spend time with family, travel, volunteer, and create in a way that makes them happy, healthy, and a value to their community/society? What is their life-dream and how can they create a design plan that brings all the elements of that dream into fruition every day?
Most people don’t consider such things and as a result end up looking to get back into the workforce shortly after the big “retirement party.” One retiree who is 70+ said, “I am bored to death, I just want something to do.” Another said, “I want to continue to feel useful and valuable in my retirement life.”
Both of these folks retired like they had been told to and found that without some lifestyle design work in place they were doomed to “being retired.” What they really want is to design a lifestyle that will give them the benefits of retirement (slower pace, more control, and the pursuit of what they consider valuable) while still being active, productive, and profitable (financially capable for their own needs).
What about you? Are you planning for those great years of life where you can live out your dreams at your pace and according to your desires? What advice can you give to those who are just beginning the process?