Talking about retirement (or not)
Maybe you’re like me – you’re in your late 50’s and you’re not ready to retire. Yet you’re starting to hear people around your age talk about retirement; how many years they have left and how they’re going to fill in their days when they’ve finished working.
I know everyone is different but if you’re like me, you have no intention of stopping work just because you reach the ‘recognized’ retirement age.
Thankfully I have some fighting-fit-friends who are well into their 60’s and 70’s and have no intention of retiring or slowing down. I say thankfully, because these are the people I aspire to be like. Friends who know that retirement is not a goal. It’s not something we work towards after which we receive a reward for our many years of toil – perhaps a gold watch or maybe if we’re really lucky, a chiming clock! These are the people I like to spend time with as they keep themselves (and those around them) young and as a result, they seem ageless.
These are people who are still really active, who travel regularly, who are open to new experiences and opportunities, who feel fulfilled and who love live.
By contrast, we all recognize the stereotype of the retiree who shuffles off from their productive working life to then spend their days on the bowling green or in the garden, never to be heard from again. This, to me, feels like a slow and certain path to becoming old and unwanted, aka invisible. I know which type I aspire to be.
So what are the alternatives?
If you go online you will find a huge array of advertisements and articles aimed at people in their 50’s and 60’s who are looking for alternatives to retirement. Many of these advertise home-based or online businesses, and a large number of them state that you will amass riches quickly by following a few simple steps. Hmmm. I’m pretty sure you would agree with me that anything that sounds too good to be true, usually is. Conversely, anything that we value in our life has usually come about through real effort and a lot of focus. Not by following a few simple steps.
My voyage of discovery into alternatives began after I was made redundant (for the second time). Instead of going into panic mode, I decided this was a great opportunity for me. It gave me the chance to look into different types of work where I could determine the outcome and conditions of my working life, rather than someone else deciding this for me. I’ll be honest with you. My investigations took many hours. There is a lot of information available online and much of it is misleading.
Where I ended up
I learned about many aspects of online marketing and have really enjoyed the journey. In the process I also narrowed my area of focus when it came to an audience niche as we can’t market to everyone. As the saying goes ‘if you market to everyone, you market to no-one’.
I have recently been doing some training in helping women find their voice and will shortly be actively marketing this and I really believe that women have so much value to add to society that isn’t always being heard.
So, rather than buying into the retirement conversation I have decided to take responsibility for where and when I work and, with that, to have the freedom to carry on doing the things that I love.
Fighting fit in my fifties!