Over the years we have counseled many individuals who have “retired” (translation: made enough money to quit) in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s about what to do when they no longer have to work. They usually find that, after a certain amount of time off, they want an occupation once again. Even golf and fishing can become repetitive. It would seem a happy dilemma to choose a new occupation when you need not worry about money. However, it is a dilemma none the less. It seems that on some level the individual realizes that in their 20’s they chose to “do” something that admittedly made money, but was sufficiently difficult, time consuming or tiring and that once the money was made they wanted to get out. Having had that experience, they seem to be very cautious about what to “do” for the next, and possibly final, career of their lives.
I tell them not to think in terms of “what they are going to do”. That’s the same attitude they used 20, 30 or 40 years ago. It’s time for a new one. Pretend that the year is 2041 and you have just died peaceably at the age of 90. Your grandchildren and great grandchildren are talking about you in admiring, glowing terms regarding your later in life career and how it reflected who you were and what you valued. Listen to what they are saying. What are the words that you would want to hear if you could somehow listen? Now apply it. Whatever you hear them saying, is what your next career should be. Or how about forcing yourself to think back on when the whole world was open to you and you declared to your parents and the kids you played with what you were going to do when you “grew up”. What was it you said? What did you want to do with your life before money and job responsibility got in the way? Now, apply it. It’s not too late. If you’re ready to retire, your financial self is provided for. What about your mental and emotional self? There is no right or wrong to this equation. It is just a way to work backwards in deciding how the second half of your career life can be spent. Simply live the life career that will permit your grandchildren and great grandchildren to have a great conversation and help you defy the 8 year rule.