For most working people, it’s the alarm clock that gets them out of bed in the morning. For almost 14 years, it was my Beagle, Murphy Brown that got me out of bed. At 5:30 on the dot, she was ready for breakfast, and she wasn’t going to take “go back to sleep” for an answer. At least as dependable and certainly more persistent than an alarm clock, she got the job done. We reverted to the clock after she was gone. But in retirement, I can count the number of times I’ve set that alarm on one hand.
One thing that gets me up in the morning is my curiosity of what the scale will say. I know, some of you think it’s bad to weigh yourself every day. In my defense, I will tell you that I’ve gained less than half a pound each year for the last 20 years, a feat I attribute in part to my daily weighing schedule. (And for the record, since the beginning of this year, I’ve lost 12 years' worth of those half-pounds. Two more and I’m back to my wedding-day weight.)
On days after I’ve written a blog post, I’m eager to get out of bed so I can get to my computer and read your comments. Your comments are what makes blogging so fun, so that’s another thing that gets me out of bed in the morning.
Since my days are filled with mostly things I really want to be doing, it’s pretty easy to get up in the mornings in any case.
You’ve probably seen the headlines about a recently released Conference Board study finding that 62% of older workers are planning on delaying retirement. No doubt scars from the Great Recession are the major factor in this finding. But there also are some people that just plain don’t want to retire.
Last week I had lunch with one of my very first bosses. I was a gopher at his law firm more than three decades ago. Now in his 70’s, he’s still practicing law, with no desire to stop. He told me he’s going to “cut back” a little by taking one afternoon off each week. He likes what he does, and being his own boss, he and his wife have been able travel as much as they pleased over the years. From where I sit, it looks like his life is exactly as he wants it to be.
Most retirement planning focuses exclusively on the math part of the equation. Once you reach a certain number, you can retire. But that doesn’t mean you’re actually ready to retire. If you don’t feel like you are missing anything, if you love what you do, if you’re not yearning to do something else, why would you retire? If you wake up in the morning and you are doing exactly what you want to do, then I say keep doing it.
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