A fulfilling (non) retirement

There’s more to retirement planning than financial focus

A fulfilling (non) retirement

For many people retirement planning means working out how long your finances will last once you stop working. There’s more to retirement planning than financial focus so consider what’s really important.

1. Become a scrooge

Instead of railing against marketers with dumb messages about ‘retiring rich’, illustrated by pumped-up silver haired bimbos and blokes, turn down the advertising ‘noise’ and become a scrooge. Only buy what you need rather than what you (fleetingly) think you want. That’ll show them.

2. Learn something

Anything. Whether it’s an old-fashioned craft such as pottery or a new-fashioned skill such as digital photography, learn something fast. If you’re not learning, your brain will wither and die. And no, the daily crossword is not enough.

3. Give

Give your money, your time, your assistance, your knowledge or all four. Give until it hurts – although it probably never will. The only way we truly come alive is when we improve the lot of someone else. Your giving may take the form of volunteering, informal or formal care, donations or mentoring. It really doesn’t matter. The rewards, incidentally, are huge. You won’t leave the planet a bitter and twisted old fool. You can’t, if you remain connected through the gifts you have made.

4. Save the world

Yes, really. Unless you think it’s in great shape, of course. It’s common for older generations to think the world is going to hell in a handbasket—but wouldn’t it be magnificent to be part of the first generation to actually try to save the world? To right wrongs in the Middle East or Africa, to save the environment or—why stop there—the entire planet?

Go on, what’s holding you back?

5. Dream

Remember when you were a kid messing round in the back yard, maybe dreaming of becoming the next Donald Bradman, Yvonne Goolagong or Paul McCartney? Well, you may not have made it in the superstar stakes, but if you still feel the heart of a teenager beating firmly in your breast, then maybe it’s time to honour your teenage dreams.

Whether it’s bike riding, tree planting, oil painting or starting a new political party, you owe it to yourself and the world to give it a go.





    COMMENTS

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    MICK
    10th Sep 2015
    10:28am
    "Save the world"? Unfortunately the majority of the media runs their own angle and only prints what they are pushing. So hard to make a difference as there are interests which intend to push the official line. Of course actions speak louder than words.....but mostly charities want your money, not your (free) help.
    Saalbach
    10th Sep 2015
    12:22pm
    Maybe volunteer to help build a school in Asia or Africa, or spend a few months on the Mercy ships? That way, you would escape all the bias of our newspapers, and experience a totally different culture, meet new people and make a difference.
    MICK
    10th Sep 2015
    8:23pm
    Was overseas for 11 weeks earlier in the year. Had no idea of what was happening in Oz and only occasionally received information from home (like the storm which blew off a gutter, the long blackout, etc.). Were in 4 countries. Loved the cultures. Met heaps of people, most of them exceptional human beings...especially in Japan. Wonderful folk. Love 'em.
    But my wife and I want to do for others. When we did offer our time and (considerable) expertise we were told that they (several charities) had all the help the needed and that they just needed cash. Always the same!
    Eclair
    10th Sep 2015
    10:48am
    I always recommend membership in the nearest U3A (University of the Third Age). It's cheap because it is an all-volunteer organisation and you learn at your own rate with people your own age which provides lots of potential to make new friends who share your interests. Those who gain most are those who volunteer to teach what they know to others. It really keeps you sharp and is incredibly rewarding. Our local U3A has the motto "Staying active: mentally, physically and socially". These are all things which ward off the evils of aging and keep you living independently in your own home for longer.
    MICK
    10th Sep 2015
    8:24pm
    Conversing with Frank on this website is keeping my mind going. So far so good. I take your point Eclair.
    mangomick
    10th Sep 2015
    9:40pm
    yeah but Mick, don't you find your forehead starts to hurt after a while:-)
    MICK
    11th Sep 2015
    7:52am
    Saving the world is hard work mango but somebody has to do it or we'll end up like Syria.
    mangomick
    11th Sep 2015
    10:10am
    I was in Bankstown for a course about 40 years ago and I can remember walking through Lakemba and thinking we were starting to look a little bit like Syria then. Guess the moral of this story is instead of trying to save the world just get out there and enjoy yourself.
    Hasbeen
    10th Sep 2015
    11:09am
    Even better, perhaps you could actually save us from THOSE WHO WANT TO SAVE THE WORLD.
    MICK
    10th Sep 2015
    11:58am
    Cynical!
    Saalbach
    10th Sep 2015
    12:20pm
    Maybe the world needs saving from people who have this attitude?
    MICK
    10th Sep 2015
    8:28pm
    There are all flavours Saalbach.
    I know I grate on people at times because I tend to be in your face when political propaganda is posted. Whilst there are 'beliefs' there are also 'hard facts'...which some choose to ignore.
    Welcome to the world. As I said all flavours.

    10th Sep 2015
    12:24pm
    If it was made public what percentage of donations actually go to the "needy" end recipient AFTER admin and clerical costs to pay the greedy "benevolent societys'" employees a LOT LESS people would be giving even an obsolete cent! This is not only CYNICAL, it is the TRUTH!
    World Prophet
    10th Sep 2015
    12:57pm
    Through our company and privately we donate many thousands per year to selected charities, such the Fred Hollows Foundation, Christian Blind Mission, Fistula treatment, and quite a few others, particularly to those who operate in countries where there is no assistance apart from NGO's for afflicted people. Yes, we know that a proportion of the funds we donate go toward the administration of the charities, but they are still massively more efficient and effective than if the government was involved in the delivering of aid. And let's face it, without staff, vehicles and other infrastructure the necessary aid would not be able to be delivered. But if you are looking for a reason to not donate, I'm sure that this is as good as any.
    MICK
    10th Sep 2015
    8:31pm
    Eddie: I understand how you feel as I gave a sizeable donation some years ago. I found out a few years later how little goes through to the needy and cut back dramatically. Whilst I do begrudge paying Australian workers I most certainly do begrudge giving for needy people overseas and not being told where most of the money goes to.
    World Prophet
    10th Sep 2015
    12:35pm
    It is definitely a must to stay as active as possible. Having sold our business, I remarked to my better half that when I do eventually retire, I wouldn't mind trying my hand at being a gigolo. She asked - very wisely - if we would be able to cope with all the small change...
    mangomick
    10th Sep 2015
    2:20pm
    Who's going to have enough time on their hands to do any of those???
    MICK
    10th Sep 2015
    8:33pm
    People do mango. You can fit in a lot when not having to go to work Mon to Fri and not having kids at home any more.
    mangomick
    10th Sep 2015
    9:45pm
    That's what I mean Mick. I'll be far to busy doing other things when I retire so I won't have enough time to save the world.
    Adrianus
    12th Sep 2015
    10:07am
    I haven't worked for a few years now and I find my biggest problem is finding problems, finding enough of them to satisfy my curiosity. When I was working I would solve problems all day every day. When I paused to analyse the nature of all those problems what I found was, they were mostly other peoples problems.
    Tedwalker
    29th May 2016
    11:00am
    I find one of the best ways to keep the mind alive is doing what we are doing now, namely, being involved in forums ( this one and others).
    After making a few comments, I look forward to replies to them, and the opinions of others.
    Also, if I get an idea I think is worthwhile, I look forward to posting that, and anticipating the response.


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