The idea of retirement as a time of leisure, travel, and freedom from work is often portrayed as a desirable goal for many people. However, this idealized view of retirement can sometimes clash with the reality of financial constraints, health problems, or other challenges that may arise in later life. While retirement can certainly be a time for relaxation and pursuing new interests, it is important to consider the practical aspects of this transition, such as having adequate savings, understanding Social Security benefits, and creating a plan for health care. It is also important to recognize that retirement is not a one-size-fits-all proposition, and that what works for one person may not work for another. Some people may choose to continue working part-time or pursue a second career, while others may opt for a more leisure-focused lifestyle.
Retirement is often seen as a fantasy, but the reality is far from it for many people. With inadequate financial planning and the high cost of living, the majority of people will not have enough to live comfortably in retirement. This leads to the fear of retirement and the need to continue working even in old age. The Baby Boomer and Gen X generations have been particularly affected by the challenges of retirement, with many facing insurmountable debt and needing to work full-time just to get by. However, there is hope for a simpler and happier life, with the growing trend of homesteading and communal living. Instead of chasing the fantasy of retirement, it is recommended to travel, explore, and experience life while young, and not lose sight of the things that truly bring happiness.
Retirement is one fantasy I have never entertained. While the idea is pretty spectacular in and of itself, the truth is far from the fantasy. I am nearing what would be that age, and the idea of Retiring is terrifying. Most of us will probably have enough to live comfortably, but not much else. So then, what with the time you have on your hands will you do? Find a hobby? perhaps you already have one. From my personal observations, the majority of folks do not do much and tend to become less active, and less happy. While here I seem to paint a somewhat grim picture, I do believe it should not be like this.
I am on the fringe of 2 cultural generations, having been born in 1964 I am technically a Baby boomer. I grew up more with the Gen X crowd than I had the Baby Boomers, but still seem to inherit some of the morals and not so morals of the preceding. We grew up poor and financial planning was not something that was really ever discussed and certainly never taught in school. The mundane periphery of education that we were forced to choke down was mind numbing, and mostly useless. As opposed to skills we all must master in order to survive in this world, we were fed a steady diet of lies and propaganda that young minds are yet unable to understand. Then we leave the comfort of the social structure we clung to so dearly through it all, and it just crumbles, because that’s not how the real-world works.
We muddle through college, and are left with a cacophony of debt, that is both absurd and close to unsurmountable. We grow wiser or so we think. We invest and plan and scrimp and save and deprive ourselves for that fantasy of retirement. Then one day, things far out your control start to happen and bubbles begin to burst, and assets begin to evaporate. You owe more money than you are worth, financially speaking. This was and is a reality for a very high percentage of people in these 2 groups. Many of the retirees I know now have full-time jobs just to get by, and those getting ready to retire will continue to work to supplement their incomes.
That my Friends is the Fantasy of retirement for a good percentage of 2 generations. There appears to be some hope amongst us, a simple life, take what we need and leave the rest for someone else. For me it’s going back where I came from, back to the woods and the nature and the animals and my connection to it all. We were poor as dirt had very little and were the happiest, we had ever been. The saying is the more you get, the more you want. Just trading one for the other. The hustle and bustle the competition for what? to have a heart attack at 60 and never enjoy life? Don’t get lost in fantasy, travel while you are young, see things, do things, meet people, and expand your horizons. You can always make more money, but you can never make more time!
In short, the fantasy of retirement can be a valuable goal to aspireate towards, but it’s important to approach it with realistic expectations and a well-thought-out plan.
True Happiness doesn’t live in a bank account.