Retire? - Retirement Net by Linda Thompson

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If you want to take control of the decision, start acting now.

More people are choosing to continue doing what they love matter what anyone thinks.

More people are choosing to continue doing what they love matter what anyone thinks.

Someone recently asked me what I planned to do when I retired. "Retire?" I asked. "I'm not planning to retire!" I can't think of anything much worse. What would I do if I weren't pursuing my passion? Yes, my work is my passion and I hope to be pursuing it for many more years.

Sure, I like to travel, just not for long periods of time. I don't play golf. I do mess around in my garden, but this only takes a few hours of my week. I love to read, but I couldn't read all day, every day. I want to continue writing books and articles and speaking to groups about my favorite topics. But, I want to do all of this when I want to do it!

Does this sound familiar? As a Baby Boomer, what is in your future? Do you have a vision of your life ten, twenty, even thirty years down the road? What does your next chapter look like? If you are like most Boomers, you may be searching for a new career. You may have a desire for personal reinvention. If you need some help, I highly recommend Ellen Freudenheim's book, Looking Forward, An Optimist's Guide to Retirement. Ellen offers a wealth of information and ideas on this very subject.

Been there, done that…

We Boomers have always been anti-authoritarian, idealistic, self-empowered, and willing to embrace change. Is it any wonder the world is sitting on the edge of its seat waiting to see what we're going to do next?

We've paid our dues: went to college, got married, had kids. But now it's time to leave our comfort zones behind. It's time to get involved again. In fact, a recent study found that 25 million Boomers already do volunteer work.

What is in your future? Have you planned for it? Are you prepared for it? Believe me, this isn't just about money. It's about life your life!

What brings you pleasure? What have you always wanted to try but kept putting off? Would you enjoy volunteering your time to work with kids, build a house, rescue animals? Would you like to go back to school to finally get that elusive degree, or just study something that you've always wanted to learn?

The reason why

The reason I'm asking these questions is this. Do you know that a lot of people, in both the public and private sectors, are spending a lot of time visioning, planning, and developing programs for us post-retirement Boomers? Yes someone is making decisions about your future! Has anyone asked you what YOU want? Haven't you always resisted and resented anyone telling you what to do? In his book, Prime Time, Marc Freedman says, "Transforming the aging of America will require new ideas and new policies and a new constituency for change…"

If we don't want to be part of the herd being driven into those boxes, what are we going to do about it? Isn't it time we begin speaking up? I don't know about you, but I don't want to be told where I'm going to live when I'm 80. I don't want to be told how much money I can make without incurring a penalty. We may have to revert to the stand up, sit in, drop out, protest-anything-resembling-authority people we were in the sixties and seventies. I want to drive the ideas that go into creating those new policies, don't you?

Come on Boomers! We've changed every decade we've lived in thus far. Is that really going to change as we turn sixty...seventy...eighty? We must leave apathy in the rocking chair: step up, speak out, and create programs and opportunities that will work for our unique generation. Don't wait for someone else to do it for you.

Once again, Boomers, it's up to us to make a difference!

Linda Thompson is the author of Every Generation Needs a New Revolution, How Six Generations Across Nine Decades can Find Harmony and Peaceful Coexistence, Planning for Tomorrow, Your Passport to a Confident Future, a common sense approach to life planning; and A Caregiver’s Journey, You Are Not Alone, a survival guide for working caregivers. To find out more about Linda’s presentations, workshops and publications, visit

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