Grateful Retirement: The Key to Happiness
I feel like I’m in the Tom Hank’s movie Castaway these days. I’m stuck on an island (I mean, stuck inside my house), haven’t had a haircut in months, and my best friend is a volleyball named Wilson. I yearn for the day when I can give you clients a nice big hug again, which will mean life is back to normal.
In the meantime, why didn’t any of you warn me that a puppy would be like having a newborn again? (In an unrelated topic, puppy for sale!)
Often my writings are inspired by questions or situations that come up during real client meetings. I find this makes things relevant, as I know if one person is dealing with it, likely many others are, too. Today’s topic at hand is a fun one. It’s the importance of having a grateful retirement.
Well Being and Happiness
In the spirit of educating not only to financial success but also to achievement and happiness for clients, I’ve been taking a course on the topic. Yale University has the number one subscribed online course taught by Professor Laurie Santos called The Science of Well-Being & Happiness. I know this is the closest I’ll get to attend classes at an ivy league school, but it’s very interesting and touches on a topic close to my heart—happiness.
Now, I won’t spoil the entire class for you, but one of the key principles taught is gratitude. It’s about truly having the ability and wherewithal to recognize your “moment in time.” Then take that awareness and be grateful for all the blessings in your life. This is an important principle and is scientifically proven to lead to more happiness. However, as our later year’s approach, it can be more relevant than ever.
Happiness in Retirement
In retirement, the world is your oyster. You can choose to live out your dreams, or not. Equally important, life is fragile. The great moments of retirement can be the best times of your life, but they can also end without a moment’s notice. That’s why it’s so crucially important to make time to stop and really be grateful for the blessings in your retired life.
How was I reminded of this the other week? Well, long-time clients of mine (let’s call them Joy & Smiles), were having their regular check-up meeting. During this, we spoke about what’s going on in their lives. They mentioned the current batch of wine they’re making. (Yes, they make their own fantastic wine sourced from local vineyards in Washington State.) While drinking a nice glass of red during our meeting, they mentioned they couldn’t wait to go sailing with their friends. They then showed me the awards their dog has won at local dog shows. And then, they glowed while talking about their fresh, blooming garden and how it will make the perfect backdrop when people come over for wine tastings. The icing on the cake was when they talked about seeing their children and grandchildren that lived nearby.
Finding Joy in Retirement
Pretty cool stuff. They’re doing retirement justice. As they finished, I had to ask, “Joy & Smiles, do you realize how lucky you are? I talk to hundreds of people every year that are retired and you, my friends, are living it up. I want to make sure you’re grateful for how perfect things are for you right now.” I said this not as a taunt, but because I was so happy at how their retirement has come together so perfectly.
You see, I worked with them before retirement, while they were still part of the executive, corporate rat race. I worked with them as we talked about what their retirement would look like. Now, they’re making their dreams come true.
I wanted to make sure they realized how fortunate and special these times in their lives were. It isn’t enough for me to watch them achieve their dreams, I want to empower them (and all my clients) to maximize every moment!
We spend so much time working with clients to get to their promised land, but what’s the point if we don’t step back, reflect, and be grateful for it all.
Joy & Smiley
Needless to say, Joy & Smiley are extremely grateful. So much so, in fact, I get first dibs on their next batch of delicious red wine. I’m grateful for them and all of my clients, as you allow me to do something important. You help me help others achieve their dreams. That’s why I got into this business, and that’s certainly what keeps me in it.
Retired or not, the question is the same to you. Are you truly grateful for all you have created for yourself? If not, how are you going to change it? As always, we’re here to help be a guide on this journey and we’re honored to do so.