A lot of my friends are nearing retirement, or have retired. I know strange, right? A 36 year old hanging out with people who have completed their careers…I learn a lot from them!
I’ve made these friends over the years working in a few different environments. I notice every time they see me these days they’re telling me to just do It!
What is “It” I always ask. They elaborate about doing things that involve friends, family, or time well spent doing introverted things to ease the mind. We all met up at the beach yesterday and it was evident that they were all rounding out their careers. Each person had something to discuss regarding the plan for when they retired. Each person had an “It” that they either wanted to accomplish or do.
It struck me a little bit. My generation has this idea of doing “it” earlier in life. With an emphasis on finding what we’re good at and what we like. We live by this “do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life” mentality. That motto seems to have become our version of the American Dream. I think generations before us didn’t really have the choice to find what they were good at early on in life. I think there wasn’t this encouragement, or even the ability to upwardly groom kids to become whimsical adults who are kind of floating through life, and redefining definitions of “it”. Kids a decade back were told to find a job right out of high school. My generation stopped short to ask the question; wait, I can do that stable job thing later. I want to focus on “it” NOW?!!
For instance, one friend talked about getting involved in things like community and charitable organizations. Taking time to have lunch with friends. Even traveling. The interesting things is; we’re doing that. We travel to different countries. We make time to donate or participate in walks or events promoting specific charitable causes. In fact, we participate so much that we don’t care about spending $150 on psychical activities like adventure races over donating to our retirement funds.
We want to redefine what retirement means. And, why not? The general population is working more and living longer. We know social security probably won’t be in existence in the U.S. when we retire at 70. But, we also are fully prepared to redefine what retiring looks like for our generation. We will figure out how to handle our student loan crisis because we didn’t want to be in it in the first place. We know student loans are our mortgage, we’re making stagnant salaries, and no one will give us another huge loan for a house. So, we rent. We live in different countries. We move to the opportunity or become mobile social influencers traveling the world with the sun on our backs.
I told my friends yesterday, we are doing it. We think “it” involves you guys!