So, while there are times when posts need to be more factual, like the one from Monday on retirement health concerns, I am always searching for an approach that will fill the comment space. In general there seem to be two ways to do that: write something rather personal from my life and tie it to your satisfying retirement journey. Or, ask a question that is open-ended and allows for all sorts of answers.
As you can tell from the title, this is the second type. One thing has become abundantly clear in the almost two years this blog has been published: there is no one answer to what a satisfying retirement lifestyle looks like. Also, what may have been a satisfactory answer just a few years ago, may no longer apply. The retirement landscape is continually shifting under our feet.
Even the "official" retirement age is under assault. Just last week the head of AIG (didn't they do well with bailout money after the 2008 implosion!) says he expects many folks won't be able to stop work until reaching the age of 80. Of course, I would guess that doesn't apply to the executives in his company, just the rest of us.
But, I don't want to be snarky and point out all the cases when normal folks pay for the excesses of the privileged people. What I do want is to ask you, the experts, what does a satisfying retirement mean to you halfway through 2012?
- How do you define a lifestyle that is satisfying?
- How have you changed your view on this issue over the last few years?
- Is retirement still a valid concept, or are we destined to work until we drop?
- What is the difference between a satisfying retirement and just being retired?
- Can a satisfying retirement include going back to work?
- If you have not retired yet, do you still believe you will be able to and be happy?
OK, your turn. I am not going to answer these questions from my perspective at this time, though I may take your comments and turn them into follow-up posts. But, I really want to get a sense for how you are mentally handling the re-positioning of retirement. What leads you to believe that you can craft a retirement that is satisfying?
I get a strong sense from most of the comments left on earlier posts that a strong majority of the BRITW are comfortable in where life is at the moment. But, that doesn't include everyone, and it certainly doesn't mean a retirement that looks anything like the one your parents lived.
Fire away...and fill the page!