What does Retirement mean to You

Are you retired? How is it going so far? What does retirement mean to you? To those who are yet to retire, how’s the planning going? When do we actually need to start planning for our retirement?

I saw a show called the Perfect bid, it’s basically about a guy you beat the Price is right game show, but what caught my attention was the clips of the host Bob Barker in an interview. Someone asked him why does he talk to the people on the tour buses that pass his street while others just say hi and move on, he says

Listen, without those people, I would have had worked for a living. It’s the least I could do. I consider myself a very lucky man because all my life I did something I thoroughly enjoyed. I really have sympathy for someone who doesn’t have the same feeling. That would be terrible.

According to the story, he just fell into the role of a host. He was a disc jockey first, but because the host of a live audience participation show did not show up, he was pushed to take over. After a few minutes in and getting a few laughs he liked the feeling and would like to get more of it. When he got home, his wife who listened to the show that he just hosted for the first time said to him


Barker that’s what you should do, You did that better than you’ve done anything else.

That’s just awesome! To find something you love to do and make a living out of it. He still misses it, but the guy is 80 plus, I am sure if his body would allow him he would still host the show.

Majority of the people I know who have retired are simply bored! No matter what they did for a living, no matter the amount of money they have saved up. Well actually the money does matter, a lot, because if the money is not enough for them to travel or support their hobbies, then that’s why they are bored. Others even came back to work because they still needed the income due to debts but most went back because they just missed the routine. They simply didn’t know what to do with themselves!

So what does retirement even mean? The way I figure, it is the time when you have more than enough saved up to live off from and still do the things you love doing. The faster you get to that point the earlier you could retire. It doesn’t have to be 65 or 72 or whatever the age they say you have to be to collect pension and social security. That is If you are actually fortunate enough to still avail of the program before it goes bankrupt! Usually that is what people mean when talking about retirement. The eligible age to start receiving pension and social security. That is why I say it is more about the money than anything else.

So if you find a way to make or save enough to money to live off with then you can retire whenever you want!

The catch is, usually those who make significant amounts of money are those who are good at doing what they already love doing, which means they are actually having fun with it and do not consider it work, which means retirement does not even cross their mind! They are willing to do whatever it is they do for a living as long as their body allows them to just like Bob. Most of us are not so lucky. A lot of us have jobs that we do because of necessity. It is sad, but we stick with it because it pays the bills and feeds the family. It is still better than not having an income at all. So we suck it up and do what we need to do. We bank on that pension and social security program, hoping that it doesn’t go bankrupt and would be enough to live on when it is our time to collect. Of course we can not just hope for the best. We have to do our part to manage our money better today! Get our budget squared away, live debt free as much as possible and invest as much as we can. And keep on finding ways to do what we love doing, maybe someday it pays off and becomes another source of income.

One can jump from one job to another, go back to school spend more money and change professions, always going for what pays higher but if you can’t control your expenses then it’s just a futile effort. Your expenses will just grow along with your income. The challenge is finding the balance. Some are really frugal to pay off debts and mortgages faster, sacrificing some luxuries, like travel, dining out or putting off something that they have been wanting for so long but if you think about it, no one really knows what will happen tomorrow. Today is all we have, so does that mean we never get to enjoy what we have worked for because we are focused on saving for tomorrow? Of course some use that very idea to just splurge and forget about tomorrow. Not saving for anything at all, buying and spending to whatever their hearts desire and end up being burdens to their family.

I guess like everything else in life, finding the balance between those extremes is the key. Set ourselves up to live debt free, save automatically and invest diversely while still living a little. Setting aside funds not only for retirement but also to enjoy life now for we certainly deserve it.

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