The soul which doesn’t have an established goal gets lost. Because being everywhere is being nowhere.

Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592)


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big picture of retired man laying down on green grass and looking sad.
Photographer:Marcin Kempski | Agency:

One big myth about retirement: “The grass is always greener”

“What do you do?”

It’s the first party since you retired.  Your ex-colleague Peter invited you, and there are quite a few new faces.  And now here comes the question “What do you do?”

Automatically you start to answer “I’m a ...”, then realize you need to swallow your next word and start again:  “I’m retired”.

“Do you enjoy it?”

Are you going to give him the “retirement is all greener grass” myth when you answer?

This myth holds that retirement is naturally a happy time of the life. The  grass is greener, the skies are blue, the sun is shining, and retirement is a happy time. 

Do you know from where this idea came from?  In 1889 Bismarck in Germany set up the first pension fund for workers.  When they reached 65 years old they stopped working and got a pension to live on. The trick here was the average life expectancy at that time was.... 49 years!  

So if you were lucky enough to survive all the years of hard work and make it to 65,  it was like winning the lottery (a modest one), and you could finally do nothing and rest if you chose to and enjoy the simplest pleasures of life for the few more years left to you.

But now the retirement age is still about the same, but with a life expectancy of 80 years you’re looking at 20 or 30 years rather than 2 or 3.  A good long holiday right after you retire, a few weeks or a few months, yes.  But then you’re looking at the rest of your life and maybe not quite sure what to do with it.

If you didn’t know (or didn’t want to know) that you need more than just financial preparation for this time of life, you’ve probably been subscribing to the “greener grass” myth, have gotten only a few preparations into place, and are now starting to wonder seriously about all those clouds on the horizon. Retirement when it actually comes may not end up feeling like you hoped.

But “retiring” is really the few days and weeks when you were getting ready to leave your professional life, up to the final day of work. The next day after retiring is another life starting.

What would you say honestly to a very close friend if they asked you “Do you enjoy your life now you that you’ve retired”?   Rating your life on a scale of 0 (hate it) to 10 (never had it so good), what would you answer?

If you score 6 or lower, you’ve probably been under the influence of the “greener grass” myth, and think that things would all be fine   

But you can enjoy this remarkably special period of your life. You can find yourself feeling again young at heart with the dreams and energy of youth without the hassle of being young. 

If you’re curious about how to get started with enjoying more of your life after you have retired, request your own copy of The one most important thing to know about retirement. It’s free.

Request it and you will be able to download it immediately.

The one most important thing to know about retirement.