5 not-so-hidden advantages that retirement brings

Portrait of smiling happy senior couple sitting at home looking at each other with affection. Senior couple relaxing at home and affection. Cheerful older couple enjoying after retirement.

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Your retirement dream can be as different as you are. But there are some advantages that every retiree can use to help create a fulfilling retired life. Here are five not-so-hidden ones.

1. Freedom

There’s no other time of life when you have the freedom that retirement brings. At other stages of life, you’re always responsible to someone else.

It starts with your parents; at school it’s your teachers; at university (if that’s your path) it’s the lecturers; at work it’s the boss; even if you’re the boss you have a responsibility to your workers; and if you work for yourself you usually have responsibility to someone else with what you do.

Retirement brings freedom. This doesn’t mean you don’t have any responsibilities, but you can choose what you’ll do with your life. If you’re part of a couple, this will be a shared journey.

This freedom also gives you more control over your life.

2. Time

I’ve mentioned this before,  but it’s worth working out how much time you gain when you retire so you know the amount of time you’re gifting yourself each week.

Even if you simply used the time you’re in your workplace and the time to get to and from work each day that would be a significant figure. Many could also add the extra things they do for work after hours.

Let’s say your total is 45 hours. That’s a sizable block of time. What will you do with it?

That’s something worth thinking through.

3. Opportunities

Some retire wondering what they’ll do. Others have the awkward situation of having too many options before them or offered to them. I use the word ‘offered’ because retirement gives you the freedom to say, ‘No!’ to whatever.

This is a period of time where you get to create or choose your opportunities. For instance, I enjoy writing in my retirement—which is the major reason RetireNotes exists.

However, another opportunity has interrupted this over the past 10 months. That means my writing life has been mainly on what you’ll find here. But I have other writing projects I’m keen to work on that have had to wait. I have few regrets, though, because what I’ve been working on was a new experience with the potential to help people.

Retirement allows almost anyone to create their own opportunities.

4. Relationships

We, Margie and I, had a marvellous time a couple of weeks ago. Our twin grandsons (aged 20) live interstate, which means we don’t get to see them often. We were travelling through their area and arranged to meet with them at a café for drinks.

It was great to catch up. I know we’re biased, but we’re proud of who they are—and one of them has a great girlfriend who was also there.

We were about to leave so they could show us around. I got up to pay the bill.

‘No, Grandpa. We’re paying for you and Granny,’ said one of them.

This was a transitional moment (we’ve always paid before) where they wanted to care for us.

Relationships are important. The retirement advantage is that you have the time to keep in touch. And to notice changes in the relationship.

5. Tomorrow

There’s always tomorrow. When you’re retired you mostly have the ability to say, ‘I’ll do that tomorrow.’

It’s a sign that you really have left the rat-race behind.

Bruce Manners: the author of Retirement Ready?, Refusing to Retire, and founder of RetireNotes.com

Category: Attitude, Lifestyle, Retirement

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