Fixing the Broken Approach of Retirement

When most people think about retirement, they likely believe they’re going to work up until a certain age, then completely stop what they’re doing and enjoy the rest of their lives. I believe this is a very broken approach. Here’s why:

Statistically, we’re now seeing people work longer and over a wider period of time. Years ago, they would have had pensions at their organizations — but those have largely fallen by the wayside. So while retirement age used to be around 50 or 55, we’re seeing people still working in their 60s and even 70s. Retirement becomes almost like a horizon they’re constantly chasing.

Retirement has become this idea that means to drop everything and go sip margaritas on a beach somewhere. But here’s my question: If you love what you do, why would you ever want to stop doing it? That seems pretty contradictory to committing to a craft that you love and then immediately dropping it once you hit a certain age.

Let’s say you’re at a point in your career where you only seem to have constant stress and headaches and you just can’t wait to be done with it. If that’s the case, then I ask you this: What if there was a way to run your practice and have the support you need in order to focus on your strengths and the things you enjoy doing? What if you didn’t have to do anything that sucked all of your energy out?

If you could have that way of working, would you truly ever want to retire?

If you’re always looking toward retirement, that means you’ll never do the things you want to do until you “have time to do them.” What if instead of thinking like that, you simply do those things today? What if you could structure your life in a way where you can still run a business that you love while also doing the things that bring you joy, by, say, hiring people to help you?

Instead of retirement in general, it could be that you’re looking for a break — and that’s okay — but it’s important to clarify that rather than running to retire only to find a month later you’re bored out of your mind. 

When you committed to being a law firm owner, you accepted that there will be good days and bad days. The more often you set yourself up to have good days, the fewer bad days will come, and the better you can prepare yourself for when they do.

In the meantime, it’s important you pursue the things that fill your cup today. Right now. Focus on your health. Treat your body like a house you have to live in for another 70 years. When you do that, you won’t think about doing what you love 20 years from now. Structure your life to get what you want today. It’s not an overnight process, but it can be done.

Every day is a new challenge. Be grateful for what you have and spend your energy on the things that matter most. 

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