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To retire or not to?
Gaurav Mashruwala in Mumbai | October 29, 2007
The desire to just hang up your boots or simply pursue your other interests is something everyone dreams of. A point that Bharti Axa 's advertisement tries to drive in with the line "Retirement ke baad duniya dekhenge plan".
But while all of us have those lovely visions of walking on the beach or roaming around the world, most go through a rude awakening when it actually happens. Imagine after over 35 years of working, there comes a day when there is nothing to do and that too, every single day. Most professionals cannot visualise such an eventuality.
Yes, getting away from the rat race is fine but to exercise this option could often turn out to be a mistake. This is because during our working years we do create a brand equity for ourselves due to our work or simply because of our personality.
For starters, there is a large section of us who are known within the society because of our work. This is especially applicable to entrepreneurial professions like doctors, lawyers, insurance agents and teachers. And it is simply because these professionals tend to be known as a good doctor, or the patient tuition teacher.
Your profession would have brought recognition among the peers and is actually all that you possess or are known for. Moving completely out of such a profession is almost impossible. Thus, retirement is not an option for you.
Then, there are those who have dedicated their lives to their professions. Their wives, in the working years, would have complained that they spend more time in office than with the family. And they seriously lack any hobby besides their work.
A complete cut-off from the workplace might be enjoyable initially. But then, serious boredom is likely to creep in. Such individuals should consider occupations related to their profession. For instance, a consulting assignment in the same profession or getting into something completely different would help them to keep their mind occupied.
There are also individuals who work in highly visibility professions like a television anchor or a sportsperson where retirement actually happens at a much younger age.
Post-retirement, their greatest fear may not be money but the lack of recognition. Many former cricketers and footballers have taken recourse to commenting on the game. Others like television anchors can move towards creating weekly programmes that interest them rather than the daily grind.
Of course, if you are not financially stable at the time of retirement, it is imperative that you need to generate some regular income. So, prolonging your working life is of utmost importance at this stage.
However, forced retirement due to some lack of physical fitness or some new regulation can be very frustrating. Look for second careers where there can be optimal use of your skills but do not stress you out.
Using work as an escape route is a common phenomenon for people who find it difficult to rest. Often, loneliness or the lack of friends and family members can drive you to work more. Continuing to keep themselves busy through some profession engagement is ideal for such people.
It is important to remember that retirement planning is not only about accumulating enough corpus. Nor is it only about staying physically and mentally fit. There is much more to retirement planning. It is one of the biggest transitions in the later stages of your lifetime. This is when you have to keep yourself busy as well as happily retired.
No wonder, it requires a very stable and positive mental make up. During retirement, we should let go of the past and be prepared for the future, accepting the realities of life. Try and identify the areas of your greatest interests and channelise your energies in enjoying things you always wanted to do but never got the time.