Rethink retirement. Incorporate it into our working years.

If we’ve lost interest in our job and we’re just hanging on till retirement, thinking we’ll have the freedom to do nothing, then it’s time to give our head a shake. Finding balance between enjoying the present and setting ourselves up for the future can be tricky, but if we’re not enjoying the journey, then we’re missing the point.

Most people need to be productive and continue to grow, even into their later years. Instead of thinking of retirement as an end goal, if we think of it as a shift, or transition phase in life, we are more likely to consider opportunities that will keep us contributing to society, instead of withdrawing from it.

And for many of us, we’ll continue to need an income source. Maybe that will come from investments that grow over time and we’ll have learned to manage well. Perhaps our current side hustle will be more profitable in the future. Or ideally, we’ll have set up a business that rakes in money with limited involvement from us.

These examples all require that we start well before retirement, but here’s the good news: if we plan to be productive in our later years, we can take time now to explore our long-term purpose. If we’re not racing to being jobless at 65, then why not rethink our financials, and give ourselves space to find what work is meaningful to us, that will also provide long-term payments.

Take action: Could your current hobby grow into an income generating skill? If you like baseball, you could consider becoming an umpire. Love baking? Connect with some events. Travelling turn you on? Try some seasonal work in another country. There are plenty of enjoyable activities that can help financially in later years. Find something that excites you and start experimenting with it now.

:: Inspired by Tim Ferris’ book, The 4-hour Work Week.

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