During those early years of your lifetime – those flickers of Vietnam news reels, those fuzzy images of Elvis jiving on stage – the golden age of retirement seemed like a mythical treasure chest. But now here you are. World-wisely, all-grown up, and a lifetime of achievements to show for it.
So what earns the retirement years the label of “the golden age”? Well, simply put, it’s because this period gives you something you’ve never had before—Time.
Time to do whatever you would like, time to visit family and friends, and time to reflect on days gone by.
But of course, this process of self-reflection can occasionally cause an uncomfortable question to wriggle around in your mind. What would you have done differently?
You might regret having chosen all that overtime, and are now craving those unreachable family moments that are destined to linger in the past. You might feel as though you should have lived on the edge, and had the mettle to pack in your day-job to begin an entrepreneurial route that could have made you such a success. Or perhaps you simply lament how you spent earlier years mulling over largely unimportant decisions in life.
When your time and energy is focused on work and providing a basic means of life, many of these aspiring goals and desires become lost in the shuffle, as the unstoppable tide of time sweeps you on – with no time to ever consider what might have been lost in each new wave. Statistically, the typical working person’s life amounts to one-third work and one-third sleep. That remaining third isn’t a lot of time for you.
But now, in the golden age of retirement – time is not sliced and allocated to specific parts of your life. Now it’s all yours.
The past is the past. There’s no changing what has gone. But you can use those previously unfilled desires of your younger years as a resource of motivation.
With your time, wisdom and resources, you can cultivate a hobby, start a business, travel, be of service and leave a legacy. Retirement provides you with an opportunity to consider what you can do now to answer the musing: “If I had it do it all over again”.