While I definitely have been making quite detailed plans for what I would like to do in retirement, I am finding it much more fun just to say “My plans? – to do as little as possible.” It’s a bit flip, but I’d rather not make it seem like I have this whole thing figured out, when I don’t. In fact, when people ask, I truthfully follow up that in 6 months I’ll either say it was the smartest decision I’ve ever made, or I’ll be screaming “Fool! What have you done?!”
I think it’s good to not pretend I have all of the answers, even if it makes me look a bit unprepared. I don’t think anyone can truly know exactly what this lifestyle change will really mean, so why feign confidence and false bravado?
In addition to a change from directly accumulating wealth to spending it, early retirement will bring a loss of daily contact with work friends, a loss of job status & MegaCorp perks, and a loss of daily problems to solve. I’m the kind of person that enjoys leading a team in developing strategies for solving complex problems. I’m not sure playing checkers in the park is quite going to fill that need.
Fortunately, a new study by Fidelity, indicates that almost 80% of recent retirees say it’s easier than they thought to live comfortably in retirement. The money is not as much of a concern as people might have thought and 85% say it’s the most rewarding time of their lives. (Only 10% say they are worried about being bored. For that I have my “Not Bored List”, which I continue to build on).
Here’s a scary set of numbers from the same Fidelity study: nearly 60% of husbands want to spend more time with their wives in retirement, but only 43% of wives want to spend more time with their husbands. Ouch. Hope that’s not us.
In that vein, it strikes me that it is mostly the wives of friends that ask me what I’m planning to do, so maybe they are nervous for my dear wife. The guys don’t really seem to care, but the women can be very pointed in their “what ARE you planning to do?” questioning.
Reminds me of this needlepoint I saw in an antique store. Perhaps this is what my friends’ wives are worried about!