Today’s baby boomer retiree is a bionic retiree: younger, faster, healthier and more adventurous than the average retired person from past generations. Baby boomer retirees have the world at their fingertips; their life is full of choices.
How a boomer makes those choices will determine the difference between a retirement filled with boredom, or one overflowing with adventure.
Baby boomer retirement is about a state of mind; it is not a mandatory life occurrence. Baby boomers have the power to choose when they retire; and IF they will retire at all.
Today’s retired boomer typically has more money, and subsequently, has more choices available to him or her. But baby boomer retirement is not about how much money a retiree has; it’s about prioritizing the dollars and spending them wisely.
Are you a baby boomer on the edge of retirement? Here are some things you should consider if you want to capitalize on the new life that awaits you:
1. Don’t let retirement just happen to you. Baby boomer retirement is a gift; it is not a thing that must be tolerated. Don’t endure the changes that come with retirement; embrace the changes as new opportunities instead.
Take charge of your retirement; make it a life-enriching tool. Make a retirement plan, a plan filled with activities and new adventures.
2. Make enforced retirement work for you. If your company wants you gone, then so be it. Take that golden parachute and start your own company. And won’t your old company be sorry; with your knowledge and experience, you’ll make a formidable competitor.
3. Take advantage of your powerful baby boomer consumer status. According to Boomers International, a boomer turns 50 every 7.5 seconds, and we are the richest group in world history.
The marketplace is aware of this and has provided boomers with a huge array of products. Exploit that. Take your time to shop around, do comparison shopping, avoid the gimmicks and invest only in the good deals.
When travel planning, take advantage of the last minute sell-offs and the cheaper shoulder and off-season rates.
4. Be true to yourself. Learn to say, “No.” Before retirement, you were at the mercy of your boss, your job, and your clients. But in retirement, you can set your priorities and choose those things that fit within your retirement plan.
Use your new found freedom to say, “No,” to those things that feel like drudgery. Say, “Yes,” to those new and exciting things that will enrich your life.
5. Implement your ideas. You’ve worked hard, it’s true, but your work didn’t define you as a person; your thoughts did that. Give your thoughts time to take root and grow. Then act upon them. Try something new: travel, study, write, learn, build, create, or teach.
6. Embrace your hidden desires and set new goals. The lists of possible new adventures for the retiring baby boomer are endless:
* Become a body builder, take up marathon running, volunteer as a radio news reader for the blind, or work with the homeless at a local mission.
* Take up watercolor painting or learn silver smithing, open an eBay store and sell your junk (er, I mean collectibles), study wine and become a certified sommelier, write a book of memoirs, or grow prize-winning orchids.
* Become a teacher, a magician, a photographer, or open your own candy boutique.
* Become a travel coordinator and organize casino trips for seniors, or become a business consultant for the government (it really needs your help).
* Are you a great chess player or an avid golfer? Teach impoverished kids how to play. Buy a chess game for an inner city children’s center, or offer to take a few kids golfing. You may provide their only chance to experience these activities.
7. Love to travel but your funds are very low? Become an Internet travel writer. Research those places you can’t visit and then write about your findings. Many travel sites are looking for well-written and well-researched travel articles.
8. Volunteer your time and money to those less fortunate than you. After all, you aren’t on the clock anymore; you have time to be a philanthropist.
9. Appreciate what you have and celebrate YOU! You’ve come a long way; you deserve to enjoy retirement. Stay active but remember to leave time to just let the world go by. Stake out a park bench and be an observer.
10. Look forward, always look forward. After all, it only took humans 50 years to go from a computer that filled a room to an 80 gigabyte iPod that fits into a shirt pocket. What will the next 10-20 years bring? Time travel? The discovery of an alien civilization? A cure for cancer?