This might be a hard question for some people, but let’s face it, what does your retirement life look like?
Steve Cousins is one of our listeners. (Hi Steve!) After graduating from college Steve joined an oil company at a refinery in Arkansas where he worked as an engineer, manager and eventually as the VP and General Manager. He stayed with the same company for his entire career and remained at the same location.
Last year Steve retired upon turning 60 and immediately stepped into a retirement career designed to be part-time, low stress and lots of fun. After a year, the plan is working great! I wanted to discuss with him his choice in a “semi-retirement”.
“You shouldn’t run away from something, you have to run towards something”
Steve always thought he will be working until he was 70 or later because he really enjoyed his job. The last few years, things changed he did not enjoy it very much but he hung on because frankly, he was afraid of retirement. There were several reasons he was afraid of retirement and I think a lot of people can relate.
- Steve thought if he was leaving work because he didn’t enjoy it anymore that didn’t necessarily mean he would enjoy retirement either.
- He also looked at the compensation he was getting from work and it was painful for him to walk away from that after working so hard to get to that point in his career.
- His job was his identity and he didn’t want to lose that
Working to feel useful and productive in retirement
Even before retiring from his job, Steve decided what he wanted his retirement life to look like. He wanted to feel useful and productive. He started his side gigs which are pretty cool!
- Contract Lobbying
- Expert Witness work
- Trade Association representation
Side gigs or semi-retirement not for you? Steve, says focus on volunteer work. He has a ton of volunteer positions! (As we tend to hear a lot, he is just as busy if not even busier than when he was working) His volunteer work includes:
- Chair the Board of Trustees for the local community college
- Local Hospital Clinic that helps people who are uninsured or underinsured
- State and local Chamber of Commerce
- State University mentoring students
- On the board of a local group called 50 for the future where they solve problems in the city
It’s not all work for Steve. He also spends time with his wife. They enjoy doing a lot of things together like running, hiking, off-road riding, discovering hidden waterfalls, and many more activities. Now that they are retired, they can spend a lot more time together but still spend time doing their own things as well.
Steve’s Advice from one listener of the show to another:
You should marry someone better than yourself and invest a lot of time in your relationship because if everything else went away and you still have each other, you will still be fine.
Widen your horizon’s. Don’t just do your job, volunteer to do other things. REach outside of your comfort zone, and practice public speaking because it helps boost your confidence. What great advice Steve!
Did you plan your retirement life? How did you do it? Leave a comment below and let us know!
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