Sunday, January 7, 2018

In Love with Retirement

Today started out like most days—preparing two poached eggs while watching the CBS This Morning show. The record-breaking snowstorm along the East coast had the interest of most viewers. But it was something said on a commercial that grabbed my attention. (And as you’ve heard me say before, “When something grabs your attention, pay attention.”) 

The advertisement was for a financial services firm. The advisor answers a phone call from a familiar client.

“Hi Sara. What’s up?” 

John, I’ve decided to retire early.

“That’s wonderful! Come in and we’ll talk.”

Seconds later my focus went back to poaching eggs, just right—runny yokes without watery whites. I didn’t see much more of the commercial other than John doing his research, running the numbers, and preparing to meet with Sara. I assume he had good news for her—that she could afford to retire earlier than expected.

A lot of people decide to retire early, so why did this commercial have such an impact on me? I think it was the way Sara said, “I’ve decided to retire early.” Her voice projected energy, confidence, and a sense of adventure. I wish I could ask Sara why she decided to retire early. I imagine she knows what she wants and has decided that work is getting in the way. She’s ready to take on this next stage of life.

Just the tone of Sara’s voice brought back memories of my first love for retirement. Freedom to do anything. Sunday nights without setting an alarm clock. Travel. Time to exercise and prepare healthy meals. I think many of us start out retirement with a zest for living. But along the way, the “honeymoon” phase fades. We get into ruts and routines, just keeping busy. We lose our first love.

Sara has reminded me to view retirement through a fresh lens. To approach each day with a sense of adventure. To invest my time and talents in something that matters. To live intentionally.

Imagine you just called your financial advisor to say, “I’ve decided to retire early.” What have you retired early for? What is the next big thing you want to make happen? The New Year is a perfect time to fall in love, again, with retirement.

Copyright 2018. Patrice Jenkins. All Rights Reserved.

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