Your retirement day is almost here! Such an exciting thought. You are thinking “I’ve earned this day. I’ve saved for it. I have dreamed about it and talked it to death, so why do I need to process and worry, more?” Well, Retiring in Williamsburg is certainly not asking you to worry. Worry doesn’t help anything. In fact, Wayne Dyer says “It makes no sense to worry about things you have no control over because there’s nothing you can do about them, and why worry about things you do control? The activity of worrying keeps you immobilized.” But, proactively assessing what certainly WILL change and what you WANT to change is a great exercise to have before the exciting day actually gets here.
As in your work life, making goals keeps you moving forward, prioritizing and makes you intentional. So, in retirement, you should do similarly. Make a point of deciding what you want, make a plan, and set your goals. About what? Perhaps you have never considered the change that your life will undergo? Perhaps you view retirement as nothing more than getting to sleep in, finish forgotten projects, and spend more time with family. Your life will change, and rather than let that change rattle you, make a plan to change your life in proactive ways, intentionally. When you are that proactive about your life and change, others change in their response to you. In fact, most times, when one thing in your life changes, other things start to shift, also. Life is shifting. Life is changing. Life is … ahead. So, let’s get to setting those goals, in retirement:
1) Recreate your Bucket List. All your life, you’ve been led by parents, teachers, bosses, kid’s school vacation schedules, etc. Creating a bucket list gives you goals to strive for, steps to take toward those goals, and prioritization to your days, your weeks and your seasons. As in your work life, there is a sense of purpose, and things to work towards. But those steps will now lead you to doing something that you have never had time for and have always wanted to do. So, make that list. It, surely, looks a whole lot different than when you were 30 and in the middle of your career and knee-deep in diapers. Good; it should!
2) Once the Big Day finally gets here, don’t make sudden changes. Change can feel lonely and different, even if the change is for the better. Regardless of how much of a grind your professional life was, it is always hard to let go of the familiar. But, working towards the goals on your Bucket List is forward action towards goals. Move forward. Let go of what life used to look like – the future is NOW.
Here are some examples of Retirement Bucket List ideas:
- Go on a family cruise
- Fill out a family tree for my grandchildren
- Visit my childhood home with my spouse
- Take a conversational Spanish Class and then go to Latin America
- Rent a mobile home and drive across the northern part of the United States
- Learn to snowshoe and then do it, in Colorado
- Restate our marriage vows with the grandchildren present on our 50th wedding anniversary
- Take all the grandchildren holiday shopping at a dollar store and make it an annual tradition
- Finish the basement, making it a home theater. Invite the whole family and have a lock-in for opening night
- Sleep outside, under the stars, on a beach
- Create a huge bonfire, inviting everyone in the neighborhood to bring a piece of furniture to burn
In closing, there is no more schedule and no more path to follow. It is very easy to get lost and let time slip away. I challenge you to think of retiring as a Rite of Passage, a NEW BEGINNING. Retirement is a chance to change everything. You can decide what direction to take, where to live, and what to plant each season. If you are pro-active in making changes by setting goals – it will create fulfillment in your day-to-day life. Proactively taking steps towards your bucket list isn’t changing, it is a choice to move towards something.
What did you add to your Bucket List? What did you take off of it?
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Rolf Kramer, REALTOR®, ABR, SRES, e-PRO
Licensed in Virginia with Liz Moore and Associates, 5350 Discovery Park Blvd, Williamsburg, VA 23188
Williamsburg has become a Mecca for retirees over the past dozen years because of its history, charm, vacation amenities, proximity to major cities and airports, and affordable cost of living. Check out www.retiringinwilliamsburg.com for information about the Williamsburg community, lifestyles available, and search for homes for sale.