Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Retirement Planning – Do You Have a “Retirement Goal”…?

Retirement Planning

Musings of a Veteran

A few days ago – a friend called up – and – he said to me: “I want to meet you. I am retiring soon – and – I want your tips on “how to enjoy retirement”…”

“Why me…?” I asked.

“Ever since you retired – I have been observing you – and – I have observed other retired people too. I have seen that you are enjoying retirement the most…” he said.

Well – that is his perception – but – though I have my “blue moments” – by and large – yes – I am enjoying my retirement.

So – since my friend had solicited my “advice” – I asked him: “What is your “Retirement Goal”…?”

“Retirement Goal…?” he asked.

“See – all your life you have various “goals” – as a student – doing well in your studies and getting good marks/grades was your goal – then – getting a good job was your goal – later – you kept having many “goals” from time to time – like – doing well in your career – getting married – having children – material “goals” – like making money and acquiring possessions like a car, a house, various utility/entertainment items – travel goals like going on vacations – in a nutshell – you keep having various personal goals, familial goals, career goals, and, “standard of living” and “quality of life” goals – am I right…?” I asked him.

“Yes…” he said.

“Later you had “goals” for your children as well – their education, career success, marriage…”


“Now – all that is over – you have “achieved” all your “goals” – and – you are on the verge of retirement – in the last phase of your life – so – is “waiting for death” your only “goal”…?” I asked him.

“Why are you being so “pessimistic” and gloomy…?” he asked me.

“So – if you don’t want to become “pessimistic” – tell me – like you always had “goals” in your life – what is your “retirement goal”…?

“I’ll think about it…” he said, “and we will have a long walk and talk on the subject when I come to Pune…”

“Remember – make sure your “Retirement Goal” is SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely…” I said.

Let me give you a few examples:

My “Retirement Goal” is to “Write One Blog Post Every Day”.

SMART – isn’t it…?

Yes – my “Retirement Goal” is SMART:

It is “Specific” (Write) – “Measurable” (One Blog Post) – “Achievable” (Write Only One Blog Post a Day – not Ten Blog Posts Daily) – “Realistic” (I have the resources, time, physical/mental attributes and necessary talent/interest/creative-capacity to realize this goal) – “Timely” (this is certainly the “right time” for me to write and to blog)

My late father-in-law decided to learn music after he retired from the Army.

He went about pursuing his “retirement goal” in a SMART manner – attending music classes every day – giving various music examinations – attaining a hierarchy of qualifications in music – then – he began teaching music.

Having “achieved” his first “retirement goal” – he pursued “social work” as his second retirement goal – and – he “bashed on regardless” – till he passed away.

He never felt “empty” in his life.

Yes – “EMPTINESS” – that is the emotion you will feel in retirement if you do not have a “retirement goal”

If you have a “retirement goal” – you will have an important job to do at – which will keep you busy all the time – and – you will have something to look forward to – every day.

If you do not have a “retirement goal” – you will have no important job to do – and you will start complaining: “There is nothing to do” “Life has no purpose” “Life is not worthwhile” – and – your only “goal” will be to “wait for your death”. 

So – unless you are a person who never retires – like politicians, businessmen, doctors and some bureaucrats – you must have a “retirement goal”.

Your “retirement goal” can be anything – personal, familial, social – but make sure that your goal is “SMART” – so that you can easily achieve your goal.

(Avoid choosing unrealistic “NON-SMART” goals which are difficult to achieve at your age, in your state of health, in your environment and with the resources you have).

It is best to start thinking about your “retirement goal” well before your retirement – so that you can prepare well for retirement.

Now – tell me – “What is your Retirement Goal…?” 

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1. These are my personal views. Please do your own due diligence while selecting a retirement philosophy.
2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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