Friday, November 21, 2014

The Ideal Second Act

My needs are not that great she said, as we talked about how life was treating her.  I had mentioned that I had been interviewed for a story on transitions to retirement in a National Magazine and would likely be misquoted. We laughed and started talking about how retirement looked for both of us. I am no longer working as I have come to face the demons and faced up to the changes not working brings.

I also have a pension and do not need to work to pay the bills. She was a recent widow who had worked as a consultant all of her career and had not set any money aside for retirement but with the money from her husband's pensions and the money she invested when she sold the family home, she had a healthy income. 

She said she only worked for five days a month, but she only worked on projects she enjoyed. She was currently working on a documentary, which had won an award, and had been picked up for viewing on two TV channels one national and one regional. 

She told me about her next project which was helping to organize a First Nation's  rebuilding of a village from which the Nation had been forcibly removed in the 1960's, she was quite excited about this project. She had her ideal post-retirement job which:
  • Has flexible hours
  • Is fun
  • Is something her friends and significant others can easily support
  • Promotes longevity as opposed to detracting from it
  • Brings emotional rewards
  • Allows time to still look after your nest egg
  • Makes money
  • Allows her to travel
Working during retirement can be fulfilling, but I think if only you are working on your own terms, and money is not their primary motivation. I have been officially retired for eight years ago but only in the last two have I thought of myself as fully retired. My first careers was hard work, but I no longer have to work to pay the bills. Like my friend I am able to work at what I want to do. 

What type of  second act do you see yourself doing when you retire?

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