By Megan Giles: Retirement Transition Consultant
The trouble with life is that you never know when your time is up. You just never know what might be around the corner. Too often we hear stories like ‘my wife and I were planning a big trip around the world…and then she was diagnosed with terminal cancer’ or ‘we were so looking forward to spending more time together in retirement but after just one month, my husband dropped dead’. There are many tales of unfulfilled retirement dreams and grieving families.
This message is conveyed powerfully through the Health Service 360 video Your Last 1000 Days. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend you take one minute to watch it below.
The problem is that we think we have all of the time in the world to check items off our bucket list and so we put off making things a reality until tomorrow…or tomorrow…or yet another tomorrow. And before you know it 10 years has passed and those dreams are still waiting there to be lived. Whilst current predictions suggest that you will have another 20-30 years ahead of you in retirement, the increased life expectancy does not unfortunately guarantee good health, mobility and quality of life for the entirety of that time.
Now, I’m not for a moment suggesting that you should go and blow all of your money at once because I truly hope that you will live a long and enjoyable retirement (and will therefore need a budget to support this).
But ask yourself:
If you knew that you only had 1000 days more, what would you do differently? And what is stopping you from doing those things now?
Do the things that bring you joy and don’t wait for the perfect day or the perfect sign to start something or do the things that are important to you. Instead, create your desired retirement by putting your plans into action.
Travel within your means, but go now! The grandkids and your volunteering roster will still be there when you return. There is no perfect time, but imagine what you will return with! Stories of adventure in faraway lands, new friends, exotic recipes, unforgettable memories, and a renewed sense of energy to throw into the things that are important to you.
Spend time with the people who light you up.
Make time for the people who make you laugh, who are there for you through thick and thin, and who bring out the best in you. Distance yourself from people who bring you down and drain your energy. These are the people who perhaps consistently complain about their partner, their family or how they have been hard done by, or worse still, tell you what you’re doing wrong.
Step out of your comfort zone and try something new. You may be bad or slow to learn, and you may not enjoy it, but at least you will know (and hopefully be able to have a good laugh about it down the track too!).
Let people know what they mean to you
Who are the most important people in your life, and do they know how much you care, what you appreciate about them, and what you admire in them?
But this is not only about your last 1000 days. It is equally about the people most dear to you. If you knew that their time was limited, what would you want them to know and what experiences would you want to share with them?
I wish you the very best on your journey,
If you enjoyed this article, you may also like to read Planning for retirement - is it only about the money, money, money? and Why retirement planning is different for women.
In planning for a holiday we always think “we need to go there” and “we should see that” but when Day One of our holiday arrives, we draw a blank…What were all of those things we were going to enjoy? In the busyness of life they’ve slipped our mind.
Don’t let this happen to your retirement. Download the My Retirement Planner and start capturing those ideas and inspiration so that you’re ready to step into retirement with gusto!