Turn Retirement Wishes Into Reality

Retirement is a celebrated event that usually comes with cards and signed banners full of coworker’s, friend’s, and loved one’s Retirement Wishes. Most are just different flavors of the same common wishes. Understandably many are written simply as participation comments. Taken from online lists of retirement wishes without much thought. However for some well-wishers their wish is truly heartfelt and personalized. Those are the best wishes. Even when they are only personalized versions of the common retirement wishes.

Turn Retirement Wishes Into RealityMy wife and I retired early but we stay in contact with our good friends from our past working lives. We recently attended a retirement party for my wife’s ex-manager. Reading through the many retirement wishes brought back memories of my retirement. I mentally checked off all the wishes that actually came to be and what it took to make them come true.

I also thought about what we as heartfelt well-wishers could do to help our newly retired friend’s retirement wishes become a reality.

Going From Retirement Wishes to Retirement Reality

May your retirement bring you prosperity, health, and happiness.

There were many retirement wishes along this same line of thought. It certainly would make a short but sweet toast to the retiree while holding drink glasses up high. It is a common but great wish and one I and any retiree would totally want to come true.

What it takes:

Prosperity- Enjoy the celebrating and jubilation of ditching the rat race. But remember there is more to retirement than Aloha shirts, tropical drinks, and travel. Make sure your finances and retirement budget match. Stay engaged with your retirement funding and spending. Prosperity isn’t limited to  finances. It is the whole well-being package that includes your health and happiness.

Health- More free time means more available time to be active. Take advantage of it. There is nothing better than improving your health. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money either. Bicycling and hiking/walking are great retiree activities. Find ways to stay active and exercise. Don’t forget your brain. Stay curious and always try to learn new things.

Stay on top of your health by striving to eat better and restrict or cut any unhealthy vices. Health also includes having a social life. Stay involved in your community, church and other organizations. Always keep an open eye towards opportunities to expand your social life.

Happiness- Happiness is the one thing we can choose to have. People who have miserable conditions can still be happy about what they do have in life. Taking control of our finances is important. But taking care of our health and having a vibrant social life full of friends and family is a happiness boosting insurance plan.

Congrats! Go enjoy yourself in retirement. Retirement isn’t the end of the journey but a new beginning. Now is the time to live the life you have always wanted.

This is one of the best retirement wishes and it comes with a side order of pep-talk. Beginning a new life living our dream is a worthy goal to achieve in retirement. A happy and successful retirement isn’t about retiring from something but retiring to something

It takes having a vision of what you see as your retirement adventure. What is the life you always wanted? Make sure you have the answer. Don’t make the mistake of retiring into a void containing only spare time with nothing planned.

What to do:

Create your personal retirement lifestyle project plan. Set a loose schedule of fun things you want to accomplish and the routines you want or need to complete. Those daily routine activities like chores, exercise, Kazoo lessons/practice, etc.

List your hobbies. The ones you have and the ones you want to explore. Make time for them. Include all of your passions like fishing, golf, woodworking, brewing craft beer, etc. Make a point of having many interests and hobbies. Never allow the word boredom to be part of your retirement.

Set your travel goals, family related activities, and your plans to grow your social life.

Free yourself from your work identity and re-event yourself. Retirement is the time for YOUR new beginning.

Most of all allow yourself time to transition into retirement. It may seem strange to think that retirement can mess with your mind but it will. Just going from retirement saver to retirement spender did a number on me for a while. There will be an adjustment period after the celebration cools down.

May you find that perfect retirement job doing what you love.

Obviously this retirement wish is only proper for a retiree who has said they are looking forward to a stepped-down retirement job, starting an encore career, or starting a business. It is a simple but specific retirement wish that certainly strays from the casual common and participation-only retirement wish comment.

In my case I made it known to everyone that I planned to retire early and often  where I wanted to pursue opportunities aligned with my passions and interests. Many new retirees plan to do some form of paid retirement work.

To make it happen:

First figure out what your perfect retirement opportunity is. It starts with understanding what it is you want. List the dream-job attributes that you want to find. Identify your interests and passions. Then match them to your payable skills.

Target your resume towards opportunities aligned with your retirement work goals.

This was one of my retirement wishes and I have had successful paid work adventures in retirement. It certainly has been a rewarding retirement reality for me.

For the Retirement Well-Wisher

Doing more than offering casual retirement wishes

Many retirement wishes noted that they stay in touch. If your written retirement wishes are truly heartfelt then do actively strive to stay in touch. Be a part of the retiree’s social circle. You never know if they are struggling to stay close with their ex-coworker pals or having trouble keeping or growing their social circle in retirement.

I know it took a great effort to keep my work-pals and grow my social circle beyond work friends after three decades in a career and the only life I knew. I was very happy to have great ex-coworker friends.

Retirees, myself included, feel that those still working are very busy and the last thing they needed was a recent retiree taking more of their precious time. Reach out occasionally even if it’s just a short and simple email.

If you can, write retirement wishes specific to the retiree. Think about what they have talked about looking forward to. If you don’t know then go ahead and use some of the common send-off retirement wishes but personalize it. Even just adding your contact info and an invitation to use it would be welcome to any new retiree. Especially if you are close and know that they struggle socially or have a limited social life outside of work.

It’s not just for the retiree’s benefit-

You will retire someday too. By staying connected you will have an experienced retirement pal to help you with your transition into your retirement freedom. If retirement looks like a huge challenge for you to achieve, then they will be a good source of information and encouragement to help you figure out how get there. I know that my retired friends were a huge inspiration for me on my journey to early retirement.

In Closing

For our newly retired friend whose party inspired my retirement wishes reflection and this post there is an active social connection in place since my wife’s retirement. Our retirement wish was centered around “welcome to the club” and included our looking forward to expanding our social interactions.

Everyone loves good heartfelt retirement wishes and wants them to come true. I have only covered a few of the common ones I received and like I saw at the retirement party. But they do cover some of the best retirement wishes anyone would love to come true.

Retiree- With a little planning and effort, retirement wishes can all become a retirement reality. Go ahead and wing-it though your celebration phase. But afterward choose to actively pursue the best of your retirement wishes and enjoy your hard-won freedom.

Retirement well-wisher- If you are close to the retiree then go beyond the one-size-fits-all common list of retirement wishes and make it personal. Mention anything that you know that they are looking forward to doing in their retirement. If you are close to the retiree then make sure to stay connected. Good friends can be hard to come by.

The reality is that good friendships benefits all that are involved.

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4 thoughts on “Turn Retirement Wishes Into Reality

  1. I agree! With retirement planning, all your retirement wishes could come true! Create a map how you would like your retirement to go along. Of course, whatever we take or our actions right now will have its own risks and rewards in the future. When you plan, make sure to take time focusing part of your retirement in your possible future health care needs. Imagine the possibilities of what you might need with regards to your health. Would you supplement your Medicare with Medigap plans and/or will you need long term care? Those things are costly, that if without proper financial preparation, will make your retirement go right down the slope. Happy planning and good luck!

  2. Good points about a successful retirement being more than just having your finances in order. Focusing on your health and happiness is equally important too. And as you point out, letting go of your work identity and exploring other interests that are important to you matters also. I get a lot of satisfaction from doing work around the house and other projects that benefit me, instead of spending that time and energy for the company.

    1. Thanks for the comment Arrgo. I found that after years of intense financial focus for early retirement that the other equally important aspects were given less than deserved consideration. Sounds like you have found a very satisfying retirement lifestyle and have the right mindset to enjoy it.

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