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When is the best time to retire?

By Tina Y. Gerber

Retirement is almost as inevitable as taxes we all come to a time for this decision. There are many elements to consider before you make the decision to retire. I often wonder how I will fill my retirement days and the responsibility of creating structure and meaning in my life? I will be enjoying all the time in the world and at times wonder how will I fill that time? I am a big believer in retiring to something, not from something. On the other hand, after working 45 years, it’s about finding the right balance between doing nothing or doing something I truly enjoy.

Age is only a number and it shouldn’t define what a person should or shouldn’t do.

This decision is hard enough during ordinary times, and now we have another uncertainty, as the economy falters due to Covid-19. Many older people are now considering early retirement because of the pandemic and I am no different. For many this time has been a partial dry run to experience what the changes of retirement would bring.

Some seniors, in the past, went from a very active lifestyle to a very limited lifestyle. I know many seniors, today, have been playing hooky from their healthy lifestyles, workout routines and other goals since Covid-19 arrived last year! Not to mention, no restaurants, no shopping and family visits curtailed or eliminated altogether. It certainly has been a challenge for all seniors whether living in Long Term Care, Retirement Homes or in their own homes. But on an encouraging note, I think one positive result of this pandemic is, many seniors are pitching in with their expertise and experience, trying to fill their lives with new meaning and purpose.

The first step to retirement is making sure you are healthy enough to enjoy your free time. As well, it is also important to reflect on what you will do while retired. Ahhh, retirement is just around the corner, my chance to read or write a book without interruptions. I can enjoy a pot of hot tea, while sitting leisurely on my back deck enjoying the fragrance of my beautiful flower beds and stop to watch my vegetables grow! Spending more time with my grandchildren is also on the top of my list, which makes life worth living. I will join the local senior’s club, reconnect with friends, and work, yes work on my writing skills, hobbies and many other long-awaited interests.

Many people want to remain productive in their later years, seeking fulfilment and purpose in their retirement, and remaining positive is an admirable goal to strive for. So, when you finally do retire, remember God is always with you to help and encourage you. Even though you retire from your job, being a Christian and serving Christ never stops. The key to a happy and joyful retirement is not just filling your time, but doing the things that are meaningful to you. Our goal for retirement shouldn’t be about just having more stuff or things to do but rather it should be finding fulfilment in our considerations, hearts and daily lives.

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