So here you are – your Golden Years.
You’ve worked hard your whole life, stashed away money year after year, the kids are grown and moved out (if you had kids), and now you’re finally ready to reap your rewards and start living the good life.
How old are you now?
Currently as I’m writing this, I’m decades younger than retirement age and thinking:
I want to start living the good life as early as I possibly can! Why should I wait until I’m past 60 to start enjoying life when I could RIGHT NOW?
There are a variety of reasons to feel like this but here are the main ones:
- What if this magical day never comes? (accident, health problem, or some other terrible event we can’t plan for)
- What if I’m not ABLE to enjoy life? (for the same reason above)
- Why did I waste all of my years up to my “Golden Years” to start enjoying life?
- What could I have accomplished, learned, or embraced in those lost years?
Many other thoughts pop into my head but seriously, what the hell are you waiting for? Or taken another way – what’s stopping you from embracing and enjoying life RIGHT NOW?
The past year has been a whirlwind of learning, growing, and re-prioritizing of what is truly important for us. A couple of trips along with our Early Retirement Emergency changed this for us but some other things did as well.
What Do Your “Golden Years” Mean to You?
Everyone has different desires, goals, and things that make them truly tranquil on the inside.
Think back to an activity you were doing that filled you with so much joy and fulfillment where either time got away from you while you were doing it or you couldn’t wait until the next time you did it again.
Now think of another one, and another one, and another!
If you were to design your perfect life, what would that look like on a typical day? This is what your goal is. Your golden years are when you’re living a typical day with things that you either:
- Truly enjoy
- Fulfill you in some way with accomplishment or purpose
For us that means walking 3 miles at 5:30am in the morning around a beautiful, serene lake, stretching & yoga for 20-25 minutes, maybe reading a good book later in the day, or what has REALLY fulfilled us lately – Latin dancing salsa & bachata 4 times a week!
I expect that our interests and hobbies will change over the years, but what shouldn’t change is our pursuit of what gives us tranquility & meaning.
From the thoughts above, make a list of the things that fulfill you, and start to construct what your perfect day looks like in retirement day to day. This can even include what some would consider “work” but to you might be fulfilling. When you have this list, ask yourself “What are some items on this list that I can start doing RIGHT NOW that will start to blur the line between now and my golden years?”
If we had a billion dollars, those handful of things that I mentioned above would not change, so use that as a guide to start brainstorming what matters most to you. If you can start doing the things that will improve your life NOW, you can start your “Golden Years” early and turn them into Golden Decades!