Take a minute to visualize retirement. Try and picture everything you expect. What exactly do you see?
Some of us might say 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 course. Others could perhaps envision holding their grandchildren’s hands while walking around the local zoo.
And that may be as far as many of us imagine.
A Life in Four Parts
A typical American life can be divided into four 8,000-day segments, each lasting 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.