Most people don’t set out to lie to themselves about retirement, but it’s hard not to do.
The issue stems from people going into it with overgeneralized assumptions and vague ideas about what everyday life in retirement will look and feel like.
In other words, people think retirement is going to be or mean one thing, and then when it doesn’t turn out that way, they have to lie to themselves in order to rationalize how they feel about it.
Overtime, the lie is perpetuated onto others and the tradition carries on.
While there are a myriad of things to fib about regarding retirement, there are three big ones that usually get a hold of people and make the transition more difficult than it needs to be.
1) I Deserve This:
This selfish story line is the crux of many problems in retirement.
People have told themselves for so long that retirement is “my time” to do as I want and please.
To focus solely on the satisfaction of their own natural likes and dislikes, but the problem with this is that there is nothing natural about retirement.
It’s a made-up or manufactured phase of life. Therefore, following your own whims and desires won’t make it better or easier, it will in fact, make it worse.
Don’t get me wrong, we all need a little reprieve and definitely deserve a few months to celebrate the journey it took to get to retirement, but making a successful transition isn’t just about you, especially if you’re in a committed relationship.
It’s about replacing what you had while making the most of the talents, skills, and knowledge it took to get there.
2) Should Have Done It Sooner:
This is one of my favorite lines because I hear it so often when I ask, “How is retirement going?”
Time and time again, people respond like zombies, “Wish I would have done it sooner,” including a fake grin as if that will help sell the idea.
I don’t mean to be so harsh on the topic, but let’s get real here.
Work provides a number of benefits for people.
It gets them out of bed in the morning, consumes their time so their mind doesn’t wander, keeps them moving, thinking, and interacting.
Yes, there may be boring staff meetings or a painful job review process you have to endure, but for the most part, work is the lifeblood of your existence.
That’s not to say that some people don’t adjust well and flourish in retirement, but if they do, they can usually articulate it, meaning they can tell you what they like and appreciate about it. Not hide behind a cliché saying that has no real merit except to conceal one’s true feelings.
3) Busier Than Ever:
How many times have you heard this one?
“I’m busier than ever… I don’t know how I ever fit work in to my schedule.” It’s a common lie and code for, I fill my life with whatever I can because I don’t know what else to do with it.
The busiest people in retirement are usually those who went into it with the idea that it will all somehow work out.
That if they just got there, it would take care of itself. And it did, but not how most people expect it.
Reality is, retirement is an empty bucket and it’s completely up to you to fill it with what you want.
But if you don’t fill it, other people will, and you’ll be busier than ever.
Overall, lying about retirement is a very normal part of the process.
We all find ways to hide what is really going on and it usually comes in terms of cliché habits and sayings that hold us back instead of pushing us forward.
That makes it more important than ever to face what’s really going on in retirement and develop a plan to make the most of your every day life.
Retirement today is more about you than your money.