My words of wisdom for retirement to you would have to be rooted in my experience and observation after more than ten years in retirement.
Elsewhere on this Website I paraphrased the introduction to The Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. I can't do better than using these words of wisdom when I attempt to comment on retirement.
It is the best of times, it is the worst of times
My wife and I expected retirement to be exciting with lots of time to travel, visit friends, read, and do all the things that we never had the time to do. That's what we did, and it is truly the best of times. But in certain ways it is also the worst of times. We have always strived to eat and live healthy. We've always been healthy and fit. So we were unprepared for illness and surgery when it came our way. Managing and maintaining our health have become a constant challenge.
It is the age of wisdom, it is the age of foolishness
After a lifetime of caring for our family and thriving financially we harvested a wealth of wisdom. To share with our children and grand children. To share with friends and colleagues. And yet, we are surprised by some foolish and costly mistakes we make! It shakes your confidence.
It is the epoch of belief, it is the epoch of incredulity
We entered retirement with a belief in what is right and we knew what is wrong. Our incredulity kicks in when society wants us to change our beliefs. When it attempts to cloud over the distinct borders between right and wrong. And doubt sets in. So that I ask myself: Is what I believe really right?
It is the season of Light, it is the season of Darkness
For us retirement is truly the season of Light. We have plenty of time to spend with our Lord and Saviour. Time to read, and reflect on, difficult books by writers like Philip Yancy and CS Lewis. Time to get involved in some ministries of our congregation. Time to meditate on words of wisdom for retirement. But we remain aware of the destructive forces of the powers of Darkness in society around us.
It is the spring of hope, it is the winter of despair
The season of Light makes retirement the spring of hope! Hope for the lives of our grand children. Hope for our community and our country. The winter of despair for retirees lies in the uncertainty of the times we live in. Our retirement portfolios were devastated by the economic depression. Will it recover? Will we be able to pay our expenses as planned? In developing this Website I read and research the subject of retirement widely, and the picture is bleak to say the least. Even for people that made adequate provision for retirement.
We have everything before us, we have nothing before us!
In retirement we have everything before us. I stand amazed at what retirees do and achieve. But we live in a time where the pattern for retirement, as our parents experienced it, has changed. And in a way that leaves us with nothing. Nothing to model our retirement on. Nothing to learn from. In most cases no time for a new career. No time to recover financially.
Yes, retirement is the best of times, it is also the worst of times!
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