I have had alot of people ask me lately when I plan to retire. I find this a really odd question that I usually answer with “I retired in 1981 when I graduated and I have been having fun ever since”. That is still pretty much the case except for a recent bout of office politics, so what is this retirement thing all about?
When I ask people about retirement they usually say things like “you can do what ever you want any time you want”, or “you can travel”. As for the first one, I already do what I want when I want and people actually pay me to do it. I bet retirement doesn’t do that. With respect to travel, I have traveled quite extensively for my job over the years and although there are places that I would like to show my wife, there is no place better than where I live now. My wife and I will find time and money to travel more in the coming years, but I don’t think I have to retire to do that.
Wouldn’t it be ideal is someone were to pay you to do the things that you would do when you retire as well as pay you to travel (With your wife of course). Well if you find the right job, you should be able to do that. Other people have said ” But what if you want to do something completely different?” My answer would be you mean like play guitar, compose music, wire a house, run, cycle, drywall, plumbing, Taekwon-do, play hockey, write novels, fly planes, run in races, have your own BLOG, build a recording studio, travel, work on cars, meet amazing people …. Oh I seem to find time to do all those things now.
So I really don’t understand retirement. I guess I would have to have a life altering event like a car crash, or a medical problem that would force a change. Perhaps that is why I have things like RRSP’s because I really don’t see a need for them otherwise. I can see myself at 70 or 80 writing software, designing hardware or working with stem cells, but I can’t see myself as a Walmart greeter. I have nothing against Walmart and I certainly would take a job as a greeter if my family needed the income, but I just wouldn’t find that fun.
I guess that I have been lucky in life because I look at the world as an amazing place in which to learn. I feel sorry for people who can’t figure out what they want to do and settle for a job that they don’t like. I want to do almost everything and there are just not enough hours in the day or years in a lifetime.