Do you look forward to retirement? If so, you have my deepest sympathies.
You see, it breaks my heart to see people spend their entire adult lives working tiressly in stress-filled jobs, always dreaming of the day the can retire to do what they want, when they want, where they want, and with whom they want.
What makes me sad is that it doesn't have to be that way.
Taught to Live for Retirement
From the moment you and I left high school we've been taught to do whatever it takes to get the highest paying job possible. After all, the more money we make, the nicer house we can live in, the nicer car we can drive, the nicer clothes we can wear, and the nicer vacations we can take.
The problem with that type of thinking is, if you're spending 40-60 hours per week in a stress-filled job that brings you no joy, allows no creative self-expression, and doesn't serve to solve a problem that's important to you, then is it truly possible to overcome that unhappiness simply by acquiring a multitude of inanimate objects that wear out and become obsolete? Maybe for you, but not for me.
My contention is that the reason people look forward to retirement is because they have painted themselves into a corner with debt and financial obligations. But had they first sought to discover and pursue a work that was well suited to their talents, abilities, values and genuine interests -- instead of buying the American Dream on credit right out of school -- most people would be free to work at what they wanted, when they wanted, where they wanted, and with whom they wanted.
Retirement? I'll Pass, Thank You Very Much
Call me crazy, but I don't ever want to retire, much less look forward to it.
Why? Because I enjoy my work so much that I can't imagine life without it.
Think about all the accomplished people in our history. Famous politicians, scientists, actors, business moguls, and artists, who in spite of having plenty of wealth to retire on, continue to work until they either lose the ability to perform or until they die. It's because:
- They love what they do.
- They are good at what they do.
- They believe in what they are doing.
- People love, appreciate, and admire them for their work.
As a side benefit, people who work past age 65 live an average of three years longer than those who retire at age 65 (see the Life Expectancy Quiz).
If you were to list your top ten reasons to retire, I'd be willing to bet that all of those reasons could be satisfied without having to give up being of value to society.
If you learn to become an investor of your time and money, rather than what most people are ... spenders of time and money, and commit to discovering and pursuing a work that doesn't feel like work at all, you too may find yourself never wanting to retire.
In fact, my wish for you is that you eventually discover and pursue a work that causes you to never want to retire either.
However, even if you are fortunate enough to find a work that you love, you still must learn to live within whatever means that work provides, and you must prepare for the possibility that you may lose your ability to perform that work at some point in the future.
In other words, you still need to plan for retirement ... even if you never want to retire. Hence, the reason for adding a Retirement Planning Calculators section to the site.
This section of free-online-calculator-use.com is dedicated to providing you with easy-to-use financial planning calculators and retirement savings calculators to help you prepare for your eventual retirement.
Sadly, most people I know spend 6-months planning a 7-day vacation, and leave their lives and financial futures to drift aimlessly in a sea of possibilities. Not you though, right? Right.
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how I went from being trapped in a work I hated to being free to work at what I love.