How to Evolve Retirement
I have a considerable list of simple life concepts that I believe are required to evolve. Otherwise they will just breed frustration. On this list I have the concept of RETIREMENT. If you know me, you’ve heard me include it often in my discourse. Let me scratch its surface and hopefully inspire you to look differently upon retirement.
What retirement means now
A snore, if you’re lucky. The foreplay to your demise if you’re not. Most people that I know are in the latter category, sadly.
The much dreamed of reward that would be coming to you after years of hard work is a trap. You are supposed to spend your entire adult life sculpting habits that drag you into this retirement thing. And when it happens, most of those habits become obsolete. Outrageously, you end up with more time on your hands than you can rightfully use.
It is also a concept level joke to a world that is changing ever more. It’s a trap that keeps you still while the world moves faster and faster away from what your mind can comprehend. You start being surrounded by all these things and behaviours that you can’t understand and therefore automatically hate.
But most of all its associated with a state of increased uselessness. You are no longer expected or required to provide significant value to those around you. Sit back and cash your pension as you degrade while ghosts of your un-settled youth haunt you into more and more pills. FUN!
Why it’s not going to be working for me
It implies I HAVE TO WORK 40 YEARS FOR IT. Yeah, that’s the simple and easy thing to fix, here and now. I might not be able to “retire” at 35 as I’ve planned. We’ll see. But sure as hell I won’t ever intentionally plan to “retire” in FOURTY YEARS. If I need to make a plan for FOURTY YEARS it better aim at immortality or something. Oh, wait … never-mind …
It uses the term “retire” when it should say “soar-as-high-as-a-dragon-that-aims-to-bite-a-piece-of-the-sun-and-chew-it-into-bubblegum”. I fully expect to retire only if and when I die. Otherwise, there’s soooooo much stuff to do. But hey, it’s a coined term, so, let’s call it retirement just for “funsies” then.
It implies that I rely on other people paying for my needs. More-so, while I limit my needs to whatever I can cover with my pension. Really!?!?!? I don’t expect I’m to proud to beg, if life ever would take me that low. But don’t expect me to consider this “pension” the crown achievement to my professional career. And don’t expect me to believe that the cycle of value suddenly stops working. Capturing value without creating it first? No, thanks. If anything, I expect to be making more of it in this retirement state.
It comes with an expectation to be wise. I actually like that. If you mean “crazy-to-expose-and-explore-the-world-for-its-raw-meaning-wise”. Not if you mean “know-when-to-shut-up-and-go-to-sleep-quitely-which-is-pretty-much-always-wise”.
It expects me to draw happiness from doing nothing. Now don’t get me wrong, I love chilling around as much as the next man. But it only feels good in between some awesomeness and kick-assery sessions. And most of the time those mean some honest sustained effort.
How I plan to do retirement
First of all, excuse me while I ignore the status-quo and bring my own definition. I consider myself retired when I pass the point of fearing that I can’t pay the bills to ensure my family with a modest lifestyle. I’m retirement material when those I love have their basics covered even if I chose to move to Antartica for a year, or college. Hey, if my kids are encouraged to see the world as a global village, why shouldn’t I!?
One can work on this from two sides – make money and learn to spend less to cover your needs. Optimise the ratio of the two for earlier retirement or fancier lifestyle.
Second of all, shift from aiming to maximize the amount of money that I make to maximizing the amount of money that I control. Think of an investment broker, for instance. He controls vastly more money than he himself makes. The influence and impact you can have around you is directly tied to the amount of money you control. And the more of it you are trying to make yours, the more of it you will end up not controlling. I need to see money as energy that you need to channel and recognise it is not the only kind of energy that matters. At that point I would likely have a more appropriate perspective on life.
Third of all, shift from wanting to be paid with money to wanting to be paid with quality time. This means cashing in experiences that breathe life into me. Past a certain point I will start to physically, psychologically and spiritually degrade. This action needs to be actively counteracted.
Fourth – I would conserve my “fertility”. Infertile individuals are evolutionary rejects. Evolution is a bitch. It catches you being useless, it finds a way to segregate you from the herd, from life. As my loin loses fertility, my mind should make up for it. Keep birthing! Found something new. Spark a new spirit in a budding human. Protect and nurture life. Explore a new way of being.
Fifth – Celebrate! Learn to live in the moment. Connect, truly connect with what is around me. Befriend each and everyone of my fears. Understand the fundamental lesson of all spiritual beliefs. Transcend and embrace immortality.
After all this smart-pants-article-writing-extravaganza, there’s just one thing I don’t have completely figured out. What the heck is really stopping me from retiring today. If you know, would you please point it out in the comments?
So, what do you think about it!?