All my life, I have dreamed of the day I can retire. Seriously! It’s been my #1 priority throughout my career. Every time I earned a raise, or got a better paying job, I spent at the same level and raised my investments. There were times when I wondered if I’d ever be able to retire. Living in Seattle, with it’s outrageous cost of living and high-stress environment drove me to panic many times. Finding a solution to that problem precipitated my move to Florida. I definitely had my doubts, and continue to miss what I love about Seattle, but this was the right move for me.
I’m building a new life, a new community, and enjoying the many benefits of living in a town where people aren’t simply clamoring for more. People here know how to take it easy and enjoy life.
When I first moved, I anticipated running my business at full steam as I had been doing. But, recently realized life is short and now that I have the ability to step back, I should do so. I’ve seen people die young in the past months. Others have had major illnesses or surgeries. It made me stop and ask, “Why am I working so hard?” I have finally achieved what I’d dreamed of my entire life – retirement! And yet, I’m too young and not quite ready for the front porch and iced tea. I will continue to work, coaching individuals through career transition and retirement, but at my pace. I still have referrals come my way, and enjoy working with them. But I no longer have to be out there marketing, pushing, striving….all the things that left me empty and drew me to leave Seattle.
So, yes, I’m stopping to smell the roses, or enjoy the lakeside walks as it were. I find this new pace is allowing me to serve my clients better. I’m working with each of them because I WANT to, because we connected during our exploratory call, because I love helping people and as long as I can be a useful resource, I will continue to do so. It’s been so refreshing to see this shift happen. It’s joyous and energizing.
I always pictured a retirement where I was married to a wonderful man and we’d spend our years traveling, enjoying grandchildren and all of life’s blessings. Sadly, none of that has happened in my life. I’m alone, but lucky to count many friends and good family. But being alone is the one thing that makes this all the more amazing. I did this on my own! No assistance from anyone, no big family inheritance. Just good hard work, sound investing, living under my means, and working with a fabulous financial advisor! There is little else in life that will ever make me prouder. While I may have wanted a different life than the one I’m living, I know how lucky I am and will never take it for granted. And, I am well aware that entering retirement myself, gives me added experience when I work with my retirement clients. I understand their resistance to step away, or the fear of not having the life you dreamed of. But the good news – there IS a life and you CAN make the most of it!
So, hopefully I’ll have time for more posts and be able to share what life is like as one eases into retirement.