These are just a few of the headlines I’ve seen in the last few weeks.
The Greatest Retirement Crisis In American History
Retirement confidence at record low
Retirement getting further away
Survey: More Americans Unprepared for Retirement
Retirement worry is highest in 23 years
I've written before about the apparent love affair the media has for this subject. The end of all retirement, not just a satisfying retirement, is inevitable. Aren't we getting a little tired of this drumbeat of disaster? Hasn't this doomsday message been sent enough? Is there any benefit from making things appear so bleak?
I am not Pollyanna. The last several years have been rough – very rough – for a lot of folks. Too many have lost their savings, their livelihood, their homes, and their future. Their retirement will not be what they thought it would be. Their pain is real and their plight must not be ignored.
But, to continually read that none of us will escape the tough times is simply not true. To assume that we will all have to work until we are 80, choose between meals or medicine, and live out our “golden years” as a ward of the state or in a relative’s spare room does a disservice to us all.
For almost three years I have been writing about retirement in all its various forms. Personally, I have undergone several changes in what I thought my retirement would look like. I have downsized and cut expenses. I have discovered new interests and passions that I didn’t know existed until I retired. I have found satisfaction in simple pleasures and the joy of experiences and friends instead of things.
Over 8,000 comments from you has convinced me that I am not alone. We retirees (and soon-to-be retirees) are a rather resilient bunch. If the plans we made don’t work we make new plans. If a lifestyle we thought we would live for the rest of our days no longer satisfies us or is not doable due to circumstances, we adjust.
What we don’t do is grouse about the unfairness of things. We don’t play the victim. We don’t talk about all the things we can’t do or can’t afford. We don’t give up and accept defeat (whatever that means to each of us).
Attitude is a force that can move mountains. Attitude is a force that can reshape problems into opportunities. Attitude is completely under our control.
I can promise you that Satisfying Retirement blog will not have posts with any of the headlines above. I can promise you that retirement today is alive and well, waiting for you to define it your way, live it under your terms, and spend this part of your life fully engaged and full of passion.
To accept the alternative is simply not an option.
What do you think?
What do you think?