Most everyone has a plan for their time for their first year in retirement because it’s kind of like the longest vacation they’ve ever taken. Many take it as an opportunity to knock items off their bucket list and accomplish whatever they’ve been holding off doing while they’ve been working.
But by year two, it’s a different story. Long-term retirement is a foreign concept for most people – particularly for high achievers.
It reminds a Jerry Seinfeld clip about the supermarket experience. (Relevant part starts at 0:37)
Everybody has a sense of purpose in year one. They are raring to go – ready to finally relax and take care of things around the house. They’re ready to take the trips they’ve been putting off and play as much golf as they could imagine (or whatever their respective hobby is). Year one is a lot like Seinfeld explains as people are walking into the grocery store with confidence.
Then reality sets in at some point after year one. Year two is almost disorienting because the honeymoon period is over with. Most of the anticipated relief has subsided and they begin to look into the future.
It’s during this time that I see people going back to work, assuming they can work purely on their terms. Or they get serious volunteering their time.
As I’ve observed this phenomenon, I am not so sure that we are designed for a life of leisure. We are designed for a life of contributing to the lives of others. Be that medical mission trips, part-time employment, consulting, volunteering or something entirely different.
I’ve said many times that having a plan for your time is critical. If you’re approaching retirement as a never-ending vacation, you may find yourself a little disappointed after the initial honeymoon period is over.
Because it’s year two when things start to get a little complicated.
Consider revisiting the post below:
This post is not advice. Please see additional disclaimers.