Friday, September 28, 2012

Pieces of Retirement

One of the great adventures in life is seen as the transition to retirement. This is usually considered by most to be the best time to enjoy many of the things we’ve been putting off throughout our working years. The opportunities to go on long vacations, to see the different wonders of the U.S. and the world, to volunteer with charitable organizations and enjoy new hobbies sound like terrific ways to spend a retirement. Why wait until retirement to enjoy them?

There are many reasons we may put off such great adventures. The lack of money, time, and the inability to get away from particular obligations can be some of the reasons why we stick to our daily routines. We keep these dreams in our back pockets, hoping that someday, when we’re retired we’ll be able to enjoy everything we’re putting off. The only catch to that is the uncertainty that comes with the future.

We never quite know what to expect from the future. Will we be healthy enough to enjoy these adventures? Will we have additional responsibilities in retirement that will continue to keep us from pursuing our dreams? Will we really have the money we think we will in retirement? The reasons we have now for putting off our desires today may continue to consume our time and resources in the future.

There are things we can do now to enjoy small pieces of retirement without breaking the bank. These can include taking small weekend trips to parks, zoos, museums, air shows, and festivals. We can take an online course in an interesting subject at a local community college to learn about something new and exciting. We can volunteer our time in small increments to worthwhile organizations that we’ve longed to support. We can take up painting, drawing, writing, gardening, and other hobbies that can be enjoyed whenever we want in whatever increments of time we choose.

It’s easy to say we’re going to do something in the distant future, and then never get around to actually doing it. The real trick is to enjoy pieces of retirement now before time is no longer on our side.

What advice would you have for someone who wants to enjoy a family vacation as inexpensively as possible?

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