For generations, retirement has been portrayed and defined as the season in life where you can finally focus on yourself. If you look back over the last 100 years, it’s easy to see how this mindset got engrained in our society and how this lie so easily entraps retirees.
Changing the narrative
On January 1st, 1960 Del Webb opened the very first retirement community in Sun City, Arizona. Up to this point, retirement coincided with “getting old.” For the first time retirement was marketed as a desirable, leisurely new way to live free from the burdens of life and work – oftentimes, in a warm climate. As we know, this entrepreneurial move by Del Webb was not only super-successful, it has completely reshaped the way retirement has been viewed for the past two generations.
Retirement CAN look selfish
As a result, nearly every single advertisement or piece of marketing collateral associated with retirement has baby boomers on a golf course, beach or boat living life to the fullest. Of course, there’s nothing inherently wrong with retirement, leisure or enjoying certain luxuries. The problem is at the heart-level. When our lives, including our retirement, are focused on ourselves, the end result can certainly look overly self-focused.
In the retirement planning business, we can guarantee almost nothing because past results don’t always predict future success. However, there is one promise I can make with confidence: if you make retirement about only yourself, you will be unhappy. This doesn’t mean that you need to spend the rest of your life starting orphanages and clothing the poor, but what you do need to understand is that if every day is spent in orbit around yourself, contentment will evaporate.
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Co-Founder of Retire Repurposed