A challenge many people face as they approach or are in retirement is asking themselves if they have enough money to be happy. I know this from the numerous interviews I’ve conducted with people entering into the second chapter of their lives.
This question has become significantly more problematic with the increased life expectancy we are now facing.
The answer to the question is as difficult as the one that asks; How long is a piece of string? With so many variables and unknowns it’s difficult, in spite of careful financial planning, to come up with a precise dollar figure.
We do have a means to reduce the stress that accompanies that uncertainty.
I am currently reading historian Yuval Noah Harari’s bestselling book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. He gives us a clue based on his studies; “One of history’s few iron laws is that luxuries tend to become necessities and to spawn new obligations.” I certainly have found this to be true in my own life. Harari goes on to say: “Once people get used to a certain luxury, they take it for granted. Then they begin to count on it. Finally, they reach a point where they can’t live without it.”
This is where we can change our own future. We can look at those former luxuries that have become our present necessities. Many of us are doing this by downsizing. That is kind of easy but the more difficult task is breaking the habits we’ve developed that cause us to insist on expensive vacations and eating out at 5 Star restaurants. These are just two examples. There are many of them in our lives and it behooves each of to examine our own habits and extricate ourselves from those that are most distressing.
It is not simple but the rewards make it worth it in the form of reduced stress.
A helpful book, I’ve found, is Charles Duhigg’s “ The Power of Habit.”
It has helped me to be less self-indulgent and more at peace with myself.
Perhaps it will do the same for you.
Note: I’m looking for additional input as I finish my latest book.
“5000 Years of Wisdom Finding Happiness in Retirement.”
What have you learned as you approach or are in retirement?
Send me your thoughts for possible inclusion in the book.
I’ve put together a booklet on my preliminary findings on the answers to retirement issues and would be happy to share it with you in hopes that you could provide me with some feedback that I can incorporate in my new book.
Email me at email@example.com and I’ll forward the booklet to you.