HOW TO SURVIVE RETIREMENT
A message for my Bro
This post is for my brother who is scheduled to retire May 31 this year. At 70 he will be the oldest Hagy to retire ever.
My brother has always been smarter and more successful than I. He was an undergraduate in one of the country’s finest schools, and went on to graduate near the top of his class at Harvard Law. I barely made my way out of undergraduate school. He went on to be a very successful lawyer and a Federal Judge. I was a mid level supervisor in operations for a brokerage firm. He has been happily married to one wonderful lady for over forty years. It has taken me over forty years and two ex-wives to finally meet my wonderful lady.
My brother has been more successful than I in academia, sports, career, and marriage. The one thing I have always done better than my brother is nothing.
Retirement is the art of doing nothing. It is a life style that I spent forty years preparing for. I can do nothing like it is….nothing. I am not just good at it, I am great at it. I was born to do nothing.
My brother is ill-prepared to retire. He has no experience at doing nothing. Even on his vacations he always had plans, always had schedules, and always had things that you just “had to do.”
My brother is not very good at doing nothing. He needs to do something. He needs to do something intensely. I am not sure he knows how to relax.
My brother has been so helpful to me through the years; he has always given me such good advice. Now it is now my chance to help him in his new station in life – RETIREMENT.
1. Be prepared to tell people what you are doing in retirement. For some reason people want to know how you will pass your time. I think they need to point out that retirement may not be that great because they are still working. I don’t know what response they expect.
“Duh….I don’t know. Duh….I never thought about it. Damn, I’m going to be bored to tears. Maybe I should keep working.”
My brother intends to tell people he is selling Aircraft Carriers. This is an occupation requiring little effort as not many people are looking to buy an aircraft carrier. It is a funny idea, but it will not satisfy the questioners. They will only ask, “No really, what will you do with your time.”
It is better to tell people something that is interesting and that they might believe. Tell them you are writing children’s books. I suggest having a working title such as “Johnny and the Magic Paper Clip.” Let questioners know you are in the final editing phase and actively seeking a publisher.
2. Never set goals for yourself. Goals represent guilt and timelines. You have no timeline, you are RETIRED. You do not need guilt, you earned the right to have no timeline and have no guilt.
3. Stay up late and sleep late in the morning. Late night is the best time to read or watch TV. Mornings are for people that have to work. Sleep late and stay out of their way.
4. If you feel like a nap in the afternoon, take a nap in the afternoon.
5. Play golf.
7. Watch grandchildren
8. Surf the net. Learn to play on-line games like “Zynga Poker” and “Angry Birds.”
Retirement will not be easy as you are not an underachiever. Retirement is all about underachieving. It will be hard at first as you are so ill prepared. If need be, I assure you I will be there to help you. I will talk you down from that need to do something. Work can be a hard habit to break. You may have sleepless nights worrying about what to worry about. You may suffer sweats and hallucinations. You will survive if you just grit it out.
Before long you will become as at ease at doing nothing as I am.
GOOD LUCK, YOU CAN DO IT!!