Know what? just this morning, before I popped open my laptop, a heretical thought crossed my head.
It’s this: planning and anticipating your retirement is like insurance policy. Never Ever take it as the sole reward to the years of working. Simply, it is a mere hedge against what we all fear at the end of life: becoming so decrepit,that we can’t physically mow lawns to buy ourselves a Happy Meal.
To my mind, retirement as the final goal of an executive is darn stupid for three critical reasons.
First it’s hinged on the presumption that you abhor what you are doing throughout the most physically productive years of your life. Is this how you want to trudge out to work the next 30 years of your career- feeling that you gotta endure decades of hell before well-earned respite? Millions of shmoes out there are unhappy, depressed and leap buildings when they deem work as much fun as getting a triple bypass.
Second, many folks will never retire and maintain even a greasy-microwave-chicken-for-dinner standards of living. Think about that. Even Five Million is a loose change in a stinking economy where your retirement might last twenty years; and runaway inflation delfates your purchasing power 4% to 11% each year. Doesn’t add up, doesn’t it? Your golden years become Ghetto-class life revisited.
Finally, if you do save up for a comfortable, much-desired retirement, it implies that you’re one ambitious, hardworking son-of-a-gun. So what happens? Three days into lounging at that luxury home for the decrepit, you’ll be flaming bored, you’ll want to kick every senior citizen and her cat out of your way. You’ll start scanning the job market and even start a new corporation- in your flannel pajamas. Hmmm.. quite defeats the purpose of waiting for retirement, huh?
So what’s my point…? I’m not saying don’t plan your retirement. That wouldn’t be wise. What I’m saying is, never mistake retirement for the end goal. That’s really dumb. Instead, look to each day as as source of new inspiration, an opportunity for great things that you can enjoy NOW and instead of at retirement.
Stop and think about that…. Imagine what life will be like if every week was a of mini-retirement? Now that’s heaven!