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.



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