Tuesday, 10 December 2013

You Don't Have to Plan for the Rest of Your Life....

I attended a workshop on wills and estate planning recently and learned a few things about life in the process.  Now, since this session was about "death & taxes" that might seem a little unexpected - but planning for any momentous occasion generally applies many of the same principles!  One of the most challenging issues facing me as I face down the retirement question is knowing how much is enough when it comes to planning,.  I rattle around in my own head a lot - it is a familiar space and I am used to the twists and turns that have developed over the years; however, it seemed like I was roaming in circles on this question of retirement.  Conversation with self: "So, if I age in place how long will that last and does that mean keeping the house or buying a condo and when should that happen - before I get frail and lose my grip but not too soon so I can still enjoy sleep overs with my grandkids and leisurely visits with my more adult friends and family and then what about nursing homes and do I have enough money for them and ....."  Round and round - if I go this way then that will happen; if I don't go that way then this will happen.

If I walked away with anything that night it was this:  You don't need to plan for 10 or 20 years.  You only need to look about 5 years down the road!  Simple thinking really but it was like someone stepped in and opened up the hidden exit I had been rolling past on each subsequent circuit in my mind and - PING - I popped out like a bingo ball - Under the O - OH!

Five years - I can do five years.  Why, I will still be a 60-ish person in five years.  Still travelling; still hosting family and friends; still walking the neighborhood and still living in my house!  That wasn't so hard.  There are a few details to be ironed out but what a relief to take on only one chunk of the journey.

I read recently on "Satisfying Retirement" that retirement isn't a destination but just the continuation of the rest of your life.  I like that picture - I have been on an amazing journey and have especially embraced the last two years of living an authentic me!  I have hit the age when I have quit looking for a new grey hair on my head and started anticipating a new smile line crinkling my much wiser face. I have accepted that I will never arrive - I will just BE - and that is an amazing place!

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