I have always wanted to retire. Maybe not always, but I have never been a fan of traditional employment. I even tried to leave my job a few years ago, but my boss talked me out of it. Then the pandemic hit and my perspective on everything changed. I had my own consulting company, in addition to my full-time job, and I was doing well. I had plans to leave my traditional employment and slide into consulting full-time, but during the pandemic I lost most of my business and I just didn’t have the energy to rebuild.
So, I now have to reimagine what retirement looks like and when it’s going to begin. At this point, my husband and I can’t decide where we want to live. Do we stay in place in the community we have always lived in with great neighbors and businesses and services we can count on? Or do we trade that life for Margaritaville? Literally, we are considering moving to Margaritaville in Hardeeville, South Carolina. Or do we teach English in Prague for a year? My husband’s best friend from high school lives there and I spent time there in college. It sounds like a great adventure.
Or do we move down to Australia to be closer to our daughter. Long before she moved down there, my husband and I always longed to move Down Under.
Sometimes it all seems so overwhelming that we just table the topic and have a glass of wine (a glass of whiskey for my husband).
In full disclosure, my husband retired hast year. Even though he had not planned to retire when he did, he had planned to retire. He has been thinking about and designing his retirement for years, worried that he would be bored and grow fat and drink too much. He’s managed to avoid two of those outcomes.
Watching him navigate the past year has made me rethink my plans to leave my full-time job. He’s done a great job in keeping himself busy and I wonder if I would fare as well.
I know many people who have retired with varying levels of success. Some left voluntarily, others did not. Some had everything planned, some did not. I don’t think anyone has everything figured out and even if they did, it doesn’t mean that’s the right road for me. But I believe you can learn something from everyone.
So I am setting out to study retirees and look at all the options out here. I want to know what they think they did well and what advice they have for others considering. I’ve never been a very good student, but I am a great teacher. The best part about teaching is I learn as much as my students do.
I don’t know where this journey will lead me. Maybe I’ll decide to continue working, maybe I’ll move to a Caribbean Island like our friends or maybe I will just mosey on down to Margaritaville.
Join me every week I explore my options and maybe you’ll even find a path that works for you.
Even though I know many retirees who have taken different paths, if you know someone you think I should interview, message me at firstname.lastname@example.org