Do I Ever Want To Retire?
On my walk back from my workout this morning, the question about whether I ever wanted to retire popped into my brain.
My wife and I are living in Ajijic, Mexico, one of the oldest expat and retirement locations in Mexico. We are finalizing our move in the coming months, as we will make a final pilgrimage back to Austin in October 2018, to clean out our condo for rental. We will return in early December to be semi-permanent residents.
I have worked since I was 14 years of age and for most of my career, I enjoyed what I did. My father was an economist for the New York Stock Exchange for 25+ years before he was forced into retirement at 58 years of age. He had a generous pension, but being forced into retirement before he wanted to retire killed him. It took 15 years, but he died because he could no longer do what he loved.
I do not want to be like my father.
Do I Have to Retire?
We have been planning to move out of the U.S. since the early 1980’s when I had an assignment in what was then West Germany working for IBM. This came to head with our current health care and health insurance crisis for baby boomers in late 2016, right before the presidential election. You can read more about this in the post The Looming Healthcare and Insurance Catastrophe for Baby Boomers.
I have since carefully planned the move which you can follow in the Move Abroad and Take Your Job With You Series of blog posts and podcasts.
Now that we have relocated to Ajijic, Mexico, I have met all kinds of people from the U.S., Canada and other parts of the world who are retired. We met a couple of women the other day playing cards at a local taco restaurant. They enjoyed all of the activities that were available to them. Their husbands regularly play golf at several of the golf courses in the area. My visceral response was “yuck”.
If this is what it means to retire, I want no part of it.
Meaning and Purpose
Ever since my bicycle accident in 2002, I have been seeking meaning and purpose in what I do with my life. The thought of spending my days playing games or doing other activities that do not fill a mission is not what I want to do.
We have met many here who are actively involved with a variety of charities that help the local school children, spay and neuter cats and dogs, rescue street dogs, support the arts, and many other worthwhile endeavors. Over time I will likely become involved with one or more of these efforts.
Maybe I am a little selfish, but I want to work on what I want to work on. I created Career Pivot in 2012 to help my peers and friends who were adversely affected by the Dot Com bust and then the great recession. It is something that I feel I can have an impact and yes, make a few dollars doing.
I am mission driven.
Work Less, On My Terms
I have decided I do not want to retire.
What I do want is:
- To work as hard as I want to work
- Work on something I am passionate about
- Stretch me to learn new things
- To work when I want to work
I want to work less, on my terms, on what I want to work on.
It is rather interesting, this coincides with what the Career Pivot Community membership has told me.
- To work on what they want to work on when they want to work on it, and on their terms
- Have accountability
Lastly, they need to have their horizons broadened. There are so many new ways to work and make money.
Am I being unreasonable? I do not want to retire like my father and many of the people I meet.
I want to continue to contribute to society in a way that I control.
What about you?Marc Miller
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