We definitely think so – not just because we're in the business of helping you with finances but because we truly believe that retirement can and should be a joyful time.
Having sufficient funds can go a long way to help you live a retired life doing what you really want. So can good health. But many people take the attitude that growing old is a sad and diminishing thing. Would anyone actually look forward to the prospect of growing old? In fact, most are preoccupied with various ways of preserving youth.
We happen to think that retirement can be one of the greatest times of your life. Take a look at five very different retirement lifestyle scenarios and see if any one of these resonates with you.
Be your own boss
Who says retirement means letting go of the work you love? After being in a certain field for 40 or so years, you'll find yourself sitting on a mountain of value. This can place people who were in various specialties as being highly sought after, with a wealth of wisdom and work experience.
When you retire, becoming an independent operator in your field of expertise is a useful option. With a flexible schedule, you can work at your own time and pace to deliver quality advice to clients while enjoying more free time.
Becoming a sole proprietor of your trade does mean having to cover some overheads (such as transport costs, office rental space, paying for IT or publicity services) and having some funds to contribute to your start-up is something well worth having. For all you know, it could be the case that your profile is finally raised to its highest level after you "retire".
Go back to school
Some people may find that "hey, I've always wanted to learn a new skill". So retirement is a time that they'll finally be free to pursue skills and knowledge that have nothing to do with the past work they used to do. Purely for interest's sake.
Courses on art and pottery or even higher degrees in fields completely unrelated to old professions – this is what your retirement could look like when you no longer feel obligated to train only for relevant job skills!
Throwing yourself into a new field of study is a huge luxury, with University and extra-mural class fees on the rise. A brand name university like Cornell U in the United States would charge USD1,300 per credit! Also, you may want to focus all your time and energy on your subject of passion rather than worry about how to pay for school, right?
Do some good
A fulfilling retirement goal for some people could be to finally have the time and space to do volunteer work on a large scale.
Where before they could only spare the odd hour because of career obligations or raising a young family, retirement gives people the bandwidth to travel and be involved in projects overseas or commit to longer and more in-depth charity work that truly makes a difference.
Volunteering in your retirement age may sometimes just give you that much bigger a reward seeing as you now have the chance to give back to society.
Like going back to school, this is a retirement lifestyle that needs spare cash to take care of basic needs or even fund the work, because volunteers – while much valued – tend not to be paid for their time.
This is what most people think of when they think about retirement. "Finally, I can just sit at home and rest!" would be a familiar yearning, especially for busy working professionals who are stressed out by their hectic lifestyle.
Yet most people don’t really mean that they'd do nothing at all, do they? Even resting implies that certain needs like shelter and food need to be handled!
Perhaps what they're really thinking of is a life of leisure, which in our society still incurs costs. If people are honest, being in a state that is truly stress-free is likely to require some spending – in relaxing vacations, spa sessions, therapy and maybe personal training among others.
Live it up
Perhaps the dream retirement scenario is something that involves one or many luxuries and indulgences depending on the individual's tastes. For some it's golf, for others it could be yachting, trimming bonsai plants or travel.
The concept of living the high life can also vary – golfing while on an extended vacation in Florida Keys versus golfing at your local course, for instance. This type of retirement lifestyle is unequivocally an expensive one that requires much effort and planning – more so if you're not well-off to begin with.
Do any of these five retirement scenarios resonate with you? Or how are you planning to spend your golden years?