Find Your Passions
By Bob Payne, Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer (CIO)
Although getting to retirement is obviously a significant milestone, it’s just as important to get through it. Many people reach that retirement threshold in good financial shape but then the wheels come off once they actually retire. They’ve worked hard their whole lives and look forward to retirement as a big party, which can lead to rash decisions in that first year like taking longer vacations than necessary or making a big purchase.
I think it’s a situation where you just need to carefully consider your options. Understand that retirement is a transition, and just like any other transition in life, it takes time. The rules change, roles change, and your routine is going to be different. You don’t need to get up every morning to catch that train anymore, and the colleagues you used to see so often suddenly won’t be such a part of your daily life.
Retirement can bring a roller-coaster of emotions, and how you feel about it the day you retire may be completely different from how you’re going to feel a year or five years later. So just take a deep breath and really think about finding your passions. I received an email the other day saying that one of my former bosses, Merrill Lynch CEO Dan Tully, had passed away at 84. It led me to consider how much time I have left, and how I don’t want to be lying on my deathbed thinking, “If I could have just worked 100 more hours in my life.”
So for anybody who is already retired or about to be, ask yourself this question: “If I could do anything in the world, what would it be?” There’s a limit to our time on Earth, so use it in a meaningful way. Maybe you’re going to become a volunteer or traveler. Maybe you’re still entrepreneurial and will start a new business. But I’ll tell you what I see – many people end up doing the same things they’ve always done. Sometimes it’s out of fear, and sometimes necessity because they didn’t plan properly. But if you can, strive to uncover your passions and create a fulfilling retirement for yourself.
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