Whether directly expressed or not, many retirees feel they have reached the peak of life and the best years are now finished. We live in a society that is obsessed with youth. As a result, there is a lower value put on older generations and retirees may try to overcompensate in other areas of life to fill the value void.
Reading between the lines
Rarely will retirees directly express this lie. It usually comes out by reading deeper into statements they make. Here’s one we have heard many times over the years:
“I’ve got a few more good years left in me, but there’s younger people that can do it better.”
Indirectly, here’s what the statement says about themselves:
“My days of greatest impact are over.”
“I am not as useful or valuable.”
“My experience, skills and talents are no longer needed.”
“I have to accept I’m getting old.”
Finding other ways to fill the cup
In every retiree is a deep desire to feel needed and valuable. Working and raising children is an easy way to receive this affirmation. However, when work is removed or children become adults, it’s common for retirees to begin looking elsewhere for value.
Here are some examples:
Money: One of the most frequent places retirees begin placing their value is in their net worth. Portfolio size becomes more important and market swings result in higher levels of stress. The truth is your bank account is never a good place to find personal value. Proverbs 11:28 states, “Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.”
Experiences: Another place retirees try to find value is in experiences…like traveling. Oftentimes, you will see what appears to be a “honeymoon phase” at the onset of retirement. A retired couple takes extended travel escapades to celebrate their newfound freedom. And while traveling and enjoying all the wonderful things this world has to offer is a great thing, it will ultimately leave you unfulfilled.
Busy work: When you are working, people ask you, “So, what do you do?” When you are retired, people ask you, “So, what did you do?” Retirement is a point at which you go from being a doer of a task to a filler of a schedule. As a result, many retirees use busy work to fill this void. Busy work can be defined as work with little value. Obviously, using routine tasks to stay active is good, but purely filling your day with busy work to find value will prove futile.
Consider time, talent and treasure
The truth is retirees are the most powerful generation to have ever lived on earth. Baby boomers today have more time (the ability to not work), more talent (years of building skills and life experiences), and treasure (wealth), than any other demographic.
Retirees, it is time you begin realizing the value you have! Don’t buy this lie that the best is over. Could it be everything up to this point has been “pregame” and your life impact is now reaching a crescendo?
The best is just beginning.
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Co-Founder of Retire Repurposed