Retirement may not be good for you.
Studies consistently show people who quit their job and laze about are not as happy or healthy as those who stay active or start a new career. I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit recently, although retirement is still a (very) few years out.
There are lots of problems associated with retiring, of course. For example, you might not actually like spending extra time with your spouse, although I’m pretty sure I will. Many people also find they have more time and less money than they expected, not exactly a winning combination if you want to play golf and travel.
By the time you add economic uncertainties and declining professional status it could be a disaster. In my case, for example, a publisher is probably more interested in a project by an engaged scholar than a retired one.
So it seems like there are five objectives here:
- Start a new career
- Find a new purpose
- Stay physically active
- Manage financial needs
- Keep my mind sharp
And did I mention, doing all this while reducing the level of stress in my life? I just want something simple to do, like, you know, save the world. And I want more leisure time. But not too much.
So why start a new career at all? It’s not like my life lacks meaning now. I could just do less of what I’m doing. Except it’s a challenge I’m searching for.
That, and a little more time with my wife.
[Comments? Suggest a challenge for my next 15 years. Or yours.]