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What Does it Mean to be Retired.

Updated: May 2

You worked hard, squirrelled away assets, maybe paid off all or some of your debts, and you are ready for a transition. This is the story with many folks as they are approaching, or entering retirement. For many, it is almost hard to fathom. Like a lot of you, I started working at the age of 16, and it can be hard to conceptualize no longer spending the vast majority of your time working.


This vision, however, is enticing. Once retired, you no longer have to trade your time in exchange for money. You are free to spend the days, weeks, and years how you please. Being retired does not however, mean you do not work, or have strategic goals. The measurement is success is simply different. You are able to organize these goals around what is most meaningful for you, and they are not measured by the money they do or do not earn. When a successful retirement is achieved, you have already crated a sustainable income source to support your lifestyle. Therefore, the time and energy you extend each day, can be put towards what you deem most important. Whether this is improving your golf game, exploring new terrain on a mountain bike, reading a book with your grand kids, or working on a small business... All of these activities can be goal oriented with measured successes. Just like you would do in the workplace. The common theme here is that you are not reliant upon their monetary outcome. There are other, deeper metrics to which you can measure your success.


So, when people ask, what does it mean to be retired, my definition is as simple as this... You have achieved a level of financial strength and stability where you no longer need to exchange your time for money. This is certainly a success in itself, and requires a lot of patience and discipline to get here. This definition however is only a requirement to get into the retirement club. Where the meaning, purpose, and fulfillment come into play, is how you refocus your energy in this new chapter of financial independence.

For all of you out there in retirement, or close to it enjoy this time and don't forget to maximize it. Your identity is no longer defined by your job title or chosen profession, you are free to create a new one and be the absolute best at it. Go ahead and soak it all in, you earned it!


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