Take a minute to visualize retirement. Try and picture everything you expect might occur. What exactly do you see?
Some of us might say images of packing up suitcases for yet another beach vacation. Then there are those who may envision carrying a new bag of clubs on their favorite golf courses. Others could perhaps envision holding onto their grandchildren’s hands while walking around the local zoo.
And that might be just about all a lot of us can possibly imagine.
A Life in Four Parts
A typical American life can be easily chopped up into four separate 8,000-day segments. Each lasts about 22 years. The first three (Learning, Growing, and Maturing) have been pretty much mapped out for us by society and traditions (Figure 1). Life events familiar to all of us help frame these unique time periods from birth until when we hit retirement (Exploring). Then it starts getting a little hazy.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Retirement is often talked about as an end. You might be focused on how to prepare for it, which is critically important. But if you’re looking at retirement as the final goal, then you might not be preparing in the best way possible.