A retired life feels so far off it’s quite vague to imagine ourselves living it already. But ironically, at the same time, we are burning our youthful years hard at work, so we could save and prepare for it. Retirement is like a prize we want but at the same time wish we could put off for as long as we could.
Thankfully, there’s a way to sort out these conflicting feelings about retirement. Our preparations should not be exclusivist. Meaning, we don’t have to put off for our retirement years the things we could already start enjoying now.
Your ideal retirement home
It would be nice if we could spend our golden years living in an idyllic setting, having a languid morning walk before our cup of coffee or tea, reading a book on a nice porch with the right amount of sunshine. This setting doesn’t have to be postponed to our future. Right now, if you had saved enough from your hours of overtime, you could look to buy a lakeside property. If your finances allow it, go and start building your home. Go and start living in your dream home.
It doesn’t matter if you have a job in the city and your dream home is somewhere remote. Enjoy your life in the city and visit your countryside home on the weekends. You could even rent it out to vacationers to earn from it.
For those who want to keep the dancing shoes burning well into their later years, you’re in luck. You could already start hunting for your dream apartment and live in it while working in an urban center. Keep a small and efficient apartment. Once you have worn down your bones and muscles, you wouldn’t have the same energy you have now, and you might find it difficult to maintain a big space.
Traveling the world
Everyone seems to be saving up for that luxury cruise or around the world jet-setting itinerary. That sounds like a nice retirement incentive, but do you really want to wait when your bones are creaky? Think about the muscle aches you will be having when you climb up the Machu Picchu trails. Think about the wrinkly skin you will show off when sunning yourself on the beaches of Cancun. And really, even if you fly first class, think about the back pains you have to endure in long-haul flights.
Now, when you are in your prime, it is the best time to see and experience the world. You may leave the lazy evening walks on the cobbled streets of Rome for your old age. But those that need you walking briskly, climbing hills, showing off your dance moves, do them now with all the energy of youth.
For your retirement years, save the luxury travels where your concern would be trying the most comfortable beds in the world. You don’t have to worry about energy. You could just brag you slept in a suite in a hotel which the king of Spain had inaugurated. You sat on plush chairs that had once belonged to the family of King Louis XIV. Leave these things for old age.
You fear that you’d wither away once you retire because you’d be doing nothing. If forced to imagine yourself in the future, you would see someone crouched on the ground, peering at a potted plant. Or someone who is dozing off in a couch, mindless of the sun’s rays shining hotly through the window. If these are your cup of tea, then go for them. But if you’re worried you’d die early of boredom, then prepare for a roaring 60s or 70s. Build your recreational vehicle.
It would be a hassle to go on road trips when you’re old. You would need to constantly look for a toilet, you couldn’t just eat chips for breakfast and lunch, and you need tons of medicines with you. So right now, build the vehicle that would take you from one end of the country to another with all the comforts an aging person would need. And you don’t have to wait for old age to use it.
Old age is like a bomb. If we don’t approach it smartly, it could go off and destroy everything you’d worked so hard for. It would be too late to regret you wasted many of your younger years when you find yourself disappointed that your retirement is not what you had expected it to be. So live your life now, don’t put too much dependence on your future enjoyment. Balance out your life.