Why to retire?

Retirement has traditionally meant to stop working and to enjoy leisure time. Nowadays, more people have reasons to never retire. One of them is the need to continue making an income. First, you have to consider my definition of working which I call vocation. This is work which calls you, the type of activity that makes you to fill your day doing things which you care deeply about. This is the area where you want to make a difference and give you much joy.

Most of us regardless of age need to make an income, so why not make the income you need with vocation. The vocation is the activities that while doing this you can’t tell the difference between work and play; you can’t tell the difference if it is Monday or Friday, morning or afternoon. Your overall health and wellbeing will be better as a result, the quality of your life richer and your relationships deeper with vocation. With vocation there is never a need to ever stop working.

How to work forever?

What type of work could you do when you are 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, and beyond? As we age our bodies and minds may slow but there is no reason to stop your vocation. What is it that you enjoy and with a little modification you could do forever? In many cases, this takes some compromise, some creativity and some effort to settle into a pattern of life and work which fits you just right. Is your vocation landscaping? Could you eventually ease into landscaping design or consulting in your later years to enable you to continue working?

Work doesn’t always include income

Every person’s situation is different. Your income requirements will probably be quite different at fifty vs. when you are eighty. This will have an effect on how much you need to earn. The old outdated notion of work is just that outdated. Call it what you want, but as we age spending every day doing what you enjoy is important for how we age and the experience of life which we have.

Start with a plan

What could be your vocation? How can you move towards it now? What additional education or experience or action might you need to take towards it? It is never too late or too early. Make a plan no more then 2-3 years at a time. In the second half of life, things change more rapidly and it is important to be flexible. Are you doing now what you love? If not, how could add doing something else which would move you closer to what you really want to do? How can you transition into vocation that would last forever? I know this is not easy and I have heard all the possible excuses. Still, this should not be an excuse for not trying. Just working without joy or passion especially in the second half of life is a waste of life.

Redefine your notion of work

Replace your idea of work with the idea of vacation, which is exactly what vocation feels like. With vocation you are never looking over your shoulder looking for the HR police or some boss that you never liked, worrying that perhaps this is a dream and they won’t catch you having too much fun.

Vocation will slow down your aging process

You will feel younger, look better, and have more energy. Be more positive and have deeper relationships. You will be happier, more satisfied with the quality of your life and wake up each and every day with renewed energy and vigor. Is this an ad for Viagra or a new beauty cream, or cosmetic surgery? No, it’s less expensive, healthier and free. In fact, in abundance for all, its work or should we now say vocation. Take your next steps right now. OK, it’s your time now. Starting today, redefine your idea of work and your life and take action to more towards vocation. It will be the best choice you will ever make.

I’ll be cheering you on as you go . . .

Craig Nathanson

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