Most working men and women over the age of 50 start thinking about retirement, and many start planning for it. They do their due diligence on investment strategies, position themselves well in their companies, review their estate planning, and so on. While each individual step in retirement planning in amongst itself is sound advice, the main question to ask during this transitional phase in their lives is, “What is the goal?”
I would ask anyone planning to retire, including those already in retirement, what they plan to gain from it. Is it relaxation? Is it more golf? Is it more travel? Is it time to spend with family and friends? Is it a move to reduce stress? How about all of the above?
A lot of times, especially in this current economy, the decision to retire was made for people by their employers. Many are forced to take early retirement as their companies scale back their work force to cut costs. And since their high salary demands make it harder to find gainful employment elsewhere, many choose to retire, or at least take a break until the economy bounces back.
Whatever the reason, it is common wisdom that the longer away from highly technical or executive work, the harder it is to perform that work at the same level. Not only is practice diminished, but the fields themselves are ever evolving, requiring added education to return to that type of work. At this point, a year or two into retirement, most people do not see the benefit of spending time and retirement money on education for a job that may not be waiting for them.
Worst part of all this is the toll retirement takes on self-esteem. After just a few years of retirement, as the thrill of travel and daily golf fade, the feeling of inadequate self worth sets in. And for a former executive, military officer, or technical supervisor who spent decades leading and mentoring hundreds of people to give their best, the feeling that they can no longer contribute to society can be devastating. Couple this with the fact that children tend to communicate less with their parents after they retire, and retirement becomes much less desirable. In fact, it is precisely the feeling of accomplishment and worth to others that keeps a lot of people working well into their 80s, and not the money.
What if there was a way to keep all the benefits of retirement while maintaining a strong and positive feeling of self worth? What if you can still travel, play golf, visit friends and family, and do all the things you always dreamed of doing once you retire, while still being able to lead, mentor, and coach others to success?
Well, there is a way, a proven way, and it is not retirement.
Retirement is not the goal, entrepreneurialism is. The thrill of starting a home based business is rejuvenating. The prospect of being a source of leadership to many entrepreneurs is exciting. The benefits of return on investment when properly developed and managed is astounding. A person planning to retire has not lost value to society. On the contrary, leaving a company, whether by choice or not, is the best thing anyone over 50 can do. The goal in life, especially in America, is to transition from the “wage” system into the “profit” system. The profit system, or business ownership, is the only system where true wealth is generated, and true happiness is achieved.
But don’t go running off and blowing $500,000 on a brick and mortar franchise! There are legitimate businesses that are based on the internet that have absolutely nothing to do with multi-level marketing, pyramid schemes, or affiliate programs selling lotions, potions, and pills. Do your due diligence as you normally would for anything important (like the decision to retire), and you will soon find a business online that you can run from home for just a few hours per week that leverages your current skills and allows you to become a leader and mentor to hundreds if not thousands of people.
Remember, never “try out” a business online. Create a list of questions and make sure they are all answered to your satisfaction. Then when you join a business opportunity, work it like a business, and not a hobby. You understand this principle better than most, but it does not hurt to reiterate it here. Look for a business that does not require internet savvy up front, and provides an incredible amount of training. Make sure you fully understand the compensation package and that it lines up with your personal requirements. Be sure that you join an online business model that allows you to personally brand yourself as a leader so people are driven to you as a mentor and not the business as a product.
Retirement is not the goal. Retirement limits your potential to positively impact the lives of others. Owning a simple yet fully principled internet business where you are the centerpiece is the key to getting all the benefits of retirement, with the added advantages of residual income and a source of true happiness for you and your family.