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Make yourself a pre-retirement bucket list - think about the 10+ years before retirement
Each Epic Retirement newsletter is designed to inspire you with actions you can take in your own life. Think of me as your epic pre-retirement and retirement coach!
Before I bring you this week’s epic retirement pep talk - I want to make this a little bit personal so I’m going to tell you a little bit about my year of hedonism to get you in the mood! Bear with me or skip down to the major article below if you want to get straight to the lesson of the week, but know, it’s all connected.
A year of hedonism - taking back time for myself!
Those of you who know me know 2023 is my official ‘year of hedonism’, where, I’m making the effort to try some new things and go out of my way to do small things that bring greater joy in life. After 30+ years working harder than I could ever imagine, I’m being mindful and taking some moments for happiness more consciously. And it’s so … much … fun! I dare you to try it too.
In an economical way, I’ve been to live music gigs, sporting events, national parks and gardening shows, started new jobs, wrote a book, started a new gym with lots of different classes to try and am making new friends who are helping me discover more new interests. And most importantly, I’m taking the time to notice the small joys - the beautiful roses in my garden, the wonderful entrepreneurs I get to mentor.
What’s driving it? I am. My kids are hitting their p-plates! The house is starting to become a little more empty on weekends, and my hubby and I are starting to look at each other and see ourselves having more time for fun stuff.
Like many people around me, I’m at the turning point where good financial planners say ‘we should be starting to think hard about planning for our retirement’ - I think they’re missing a piece. I think I should be planning for an epic pre-retirement too.
And this leads me to this week’s article. The 10+ years before our retirement, in a modern world, are some of the best years we will ever have. We have the financial security and confidence that comes from going to work; and we have the curiosity and adventure that comes from gradually feeling like we can spread our wings as our kids gain their own independence. It makes me want to build a pre-retirement bucket list!
Have you made a conscious effort to find more joy or hedonism in your life as your kids started to become independent?
Now let’s get onto the real lesson this week …
Your pre-retirement bucket list: Get some hedonism in your life
It’s time to invest some time in personal joy and experiences that light you up. So today I want you to think about what you will do before you retire rather than after.
Alright, folks, you heard my story, so now let's talk about why you should be investing your precious time in experiences, small joys and adventures before retirement (as well as after). And I'm not talking about ‘taking time to yourself’ where you find yourself bingeing on Netflix or scrolling through Instagram and Facebook for hours on end. I'm talking about getting out there and living life to the fullest! I know, I know, we can all get a little stuck in our ways in our forties and fifties. We like our routines - and they were developed for good reasons - to help our lives run more smoothly during the years of raising kids and juggling life. But stop and look around. If your kids are hitting their p-plates, it could be time to break out a little hedonism for yourself. And one way to do that is by building, or at the very least, starting to contemplate your pre-retirement bucket list.
Before I tell you what you could put on this list, let's talk about the sweet benefits of trying new things at the age when you are watching your kids do new things too … When you invest your time in experiences, you get to learn and grow in ways you never thought possible, at an age you might not have thought you could. Maybe you've always wanted to try your hand at painting, or maybe you're dying to learn how to surf, maybe you’re curious to take up hiking or teaching or go back to uni. Whatever it is, getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new can be a game-changer. Plus, it'll give you something to brag about at the next family gathering!
But wait, there's more! When you invest your time in experiences, you get the chance to build a solid support system - ready for your decades of retirement that lie ahead. Think about it - if you're out there doing things you love, you're bound to meet some like-minded folks along the way, making some relevant new friends outside the workplace. Whether it's joining a hiking group or taking a cooking class, making new friends and building a community is crucial for a happy retirement one-day.
Now, I know what you're thinking. "Bec, investing in experiences sounds great and all, but won't it cost me a fortune and distract me from planning and saving for my epic retirement?" Fair point, my friend. Pursuing new hobbies or travelling to new places can be expensive. But let me tell you, the benefits are worth it. Instead of spending your money on stuff that'll just clutter up your house, invest in experiences that will enrich your life and create memories that'll last a lifetime.
And let's not forget about the importance of mindfulness and self-reflection. When you're engaged in activities that bring you joy and fulfilment, you're more likely to live in the present moment and appreciate the little things in life. This can be especially important preparation for retirement, when it's easy to feel disconnected from the world around you. By practicing mindfulness and self-reflection now, you'll be well-prepared to enjoy a retirement filled with purpose and meaning.
So, my friends, let's make a bucket list of all the experiences we want to have before retirement. Maybe it's travelling to a new country or trying out a new hobby. Whatever it is, let's start planning and budgeting for these experiences. We may need to start small and work our way up, but trust me, it'll be worth it.
Here’s some ideas!
Get out there and travel - either on your holidays or as a longer sabbatical! Whether it's a beach getaway, a hiking or camping trip or an adventure to a new city, or a big ‘time out’ caravanning adventure take the time to explore and make the most of your pre-retirement years. As your boss for some flexibility if you can and use it.
Learn a new skill or pick up a hobby. It's never too late to learn something new, so why not take up a new language or learn to play an instrument? I took up growing roses in Covid-19 and the hobby has gradually taken over my front garden.
Give back to your community by volunteering your time and skills to a charity or non-profit organisation. Not only will you be helping others, but it can also give you a sense of purpose and fulfilment. And there’s huge diversity in what you can do. People I know have tried wildlife caring, volunteering at local park runs and helping at Orange Sky Laundry!
Spend quality time with loved ones, creating memories that will last a lifetime. Whether it's a family vacation or simply spending more time with friends, make sure you prioritise those relationships.
Stay active and healthy by finding a physical activity that you enjoy. This could be anything from hiking to swimming or even just going for regular walks. Try a few - see which one sticks?
Research your family tree and learn more about your heritage. It's a great way to connect with your roots and understand where you come from. Maybe - if your parents are still alive, you could get them involved in your research.
Pursue a passion project or take on a new challenge. This could be writing a book or starting a small business or side hustle, whatever it is that lights you up. Stop and think about this - particularly if the things you do in the day time have stopped lighting you up as much!
Make your health a priority by eating well, exercising regularly, and getting regular check-ups. This will help you to enjoy your retirement to the fullest when you finally get there. Remember - you’ll want your body in tip top shape to live out your epic retirement.
Read more and expand your knowledge. Whether it's fiction or non-fiction, reading can help keep your mind sharp and engaged.
Finally, take some time for reflection and consider what you've achieved so far and what you still hope to accomplish in the future.
No matter what you do with this, think about the little joys and take time to notice more of them. It’s worth it.
Until next week - stay epic! I’d love to hear what’s on your pre-retirement (or retirement) bucket list. Email me on email@example.com anytime.