This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
Try before you buy: Have you ever considered RV travel as a way to fill your second act? Or, have you thought about moving to a different part of the country? Taking extended time off during your working years can provide the opportunity to get a sample of what either of these experiences might be like in retirement. In this article, the author takes a six-week sabbatical from her position at Morningstar. While paid, it was not a full scope of what retirement would look like from a financial standpoint, but it did relay some insightful takeaways, some of which include:
📌Her to-do list wasn’t that long after all – A daunting checklist of tasks were marked off quickly, leaving the author to realize she wouldn’t want to spend her retirement attending to to-dos, but rather, focusing on a greater sense of purpose and fulfillment
📌She missed her work ‘family’: Bonds often form in the workplace, and taking herself out of that element left her missing the social aspect and feeling of unity
📌She had to monitor media consumption: While it was easy to turn on the TV in her spare time, the author found it sucked her into a news consumption vortex, and instead, she learned to appreciate other educational media outlets, such as podcasts, or just simple silence
📌Spending was a mixed bag: Not working provided more time to enjoy free activities, such as gardening, walking and reading, but also more time for spontaneous shopping trips
Bottom line: You absolutely MUST test drive retirement before jumping in cold turkey. The biggest benefit from this experience, in my opinion, is the opportunity to stop being a human-doing, and gain insight from simply transitioning into a human being for potentially the first time in your life.