So my friends at TD are running a new contest: Redefine Retirement, I did actually go enter the contest, but you don’t need to (but if you think up a really good 140 letter answer, post it here in the comments as well, love to hear what other folks are thinking).
So what is retirement really?
For my parents, they both retired and lived comfortable lives after working very hard raising 3 sons and both of them working full-time jobs (i.e. I do not resent or have any ill feelings about their retirement, they worked damn hard and deserved a nice retirement (unfortunately health issues did not make it as great as it should have been, but that is another story)).
What do I hope for MY retirement?
- To be in good health and active for as long as I can be. No I don’t need to be running marathons, but an ability to walk where I want, lift things and take care of myself is very important (after seeing what my parents went through).
- To be out of debt, but this one may be a fleeting wish for me given I am helping my family out as best I can with education and I have a special needs child as well. I am planning on writing a few articles on the financial costs of having a child on the autism spectrum, but not just yet.
- Have an income where I can do what I want, but that is not to say I want to go on a cruise every year, or such, just do some fun things with my wife and family. My pension should be that basis, so I am less concerned in this area (unless my employer changes this around).
- I want to keep doing the things I love, and if those things include a job with a salary, I am OK with that. I have a lot of “away from work” activities and that is my career now, my job is my salary. This web site is actually part of my “career” (no it doesn’t pay well, but you know that already).
- I want to help my kids if they need help (the way my parents and parents-in-law have helped us). This is not to say that everyone will think this is part of retirement, but in my mind being the Grandpa that sneaks their grandkids a $20 bill when their parents aren’t looking, will be a good thing.
An active life after work is what I look for in “retirement”, but I need to work very hard right now physically (as I already have some nagging health issues) and financially if I want to achieve this goal.
What does retirement mean to you?