A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with a friend about retirement. During the conversation, it was clear that the person had an idea of what they wanted for retirement but as concrete as it should have sounded, to me, it sounded very broad and arbitrary. This conversation had an impact on me that I did not anticipate.
I realized, to my dismay, that at 48, I have no concrete retirement plan. Based on TV commercials and information that I have read over the last few years, I subconsciously determined that I will work until I am at least 70. A lot of the information that I have seen indicates that if I do not have at least 1 million dollars, I cannot ever retire. So, I think that I simply refused to consciously and directly entertain the idea of retiring.
I have changed that way of thinking.
I stopped in my tracks and said, I will retire and I can do it with less than 1 million dollars in the bank, People retire daily without anything close to that amount and they live comfortably. I immediately created a rough, 15 year plan that allows me to retire as early at 65 and no later than 67.
The biggest hurdle that I encountered that kept me from creating a plan or even thinking about retirement is that for quite some time, I have viewed my current professional situation as a dead end. I have felt that there was no where for me to go and therefore, I would simply keep doing the same thing for the rest of my life. When my thoughts changed to view my current professional situation as a stepping stone to the next phase of my life, preparing for retirement, my entire attitude changed.
Now, I am taking a long hard look at my education, professional experience, and determining how I can transition it into a new career that will help me put more money in the bank while creating a job that I can continue to do for as long as I choose, when I choose.
The biggest outcome of my new mindset is that I am no longer simply going through the daily motions of my professional life. Instead, I am taking control! I am determining how I can enhance my professional life and make it work for me so that I can smoothly transition to the phase of my life that I have been working towards since I was 16.
Are you thinking about retirement and do you have a plan?