J.D. Roth is back to owning his original blog Get Rich Slowly and also back to writing great posts of financial interest to many of us. One of Roth’s newest topics covers retirement. I’ve always been interested in this topic but lately no one has come up with anything new when it comes to the subject of retirement. J.D. Roth, however, since (I think) he’s new to the topic, has a different slant on the subject.
Roth states that in order to have a successful and happy retirement, you have to have a purpose. Just sitting in front of a TV or playing a few rounds of golf isn’t going to get you a happy retirement. In fact, if your retirement is based on a couch TV surfing, IMHO, you just may find yourself at a very early grave. To quote J.D. Roth:
As long ago as Aristotle — thousands of years ago — up to modern day, psychologists have found that when you have a purpose, when you have a direction in your life and you build your life around it, you tend to be much more fulfilled. It’s easier to make decisions with your money, with your time, with your friends — with everything — if you know what it is you want to accomplish out of life.
I always had a purpose in life, whether it was doing well in school, listening to my parents, getting married, having children, opening up a new business, earning and saving money, figuring out how to pay for my children’s education…..whatever it was, I always had a goal and a purpose to propel me to another level of accomplishment. In retirement, however, I have to admit that I really didn’t think much of a purpose. I was more concerned with survival and coordinated my expertise in financial strategies on how to make my money last, for like forever. That’s not a purpose.
J.D.’s article: New Retirement: Financial Independence, Purpose and Happiness can be found here. I have to admit that once I heard Roth’s podcast, I seriously started to think about what was my purpose in life right now? My kids are grown and don’t need me anymore. Business ventures of mine have come to a close. I have enough money to sustain me forever (provided I remain frugal to the bone). What new mountains did I want to climb? I had so many “Been There. Done That” moments that I could only think of one thing that I still wanted to do with the rest of my life, to give it meaning and purpose. At 67 years old, all this girl wanted to do for the rest of her life, was to have fun.
So, I’m in the midst right now of rethinking my life. I’m prioritizing what I am doing now with what I still see myself doing later. What’s important to me? What can I toss aside and do without? What can I stop wasting both my time and money on? What’s really making me happy? Giving me a goal? Giving me a purpose?
I don’t know what my current purpose in life is right now. I’ve been thinking of a purpose for three days now and I can’t come up with an answer. At this point in my life, I’m not here to make anyone else’s life easier. This is MY time now and I think I have become extremely selfish about it. I won’t let anyone interfere with my good feelings. I can’t stand one second of negative thinking or thought processes. If someone starts to complain about anything, I simply walk away and don’t look back. No one is going to interfere with this time of my life.
The dictionary defines purpose as:
1.the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.“the purpose of the meeting is to appoint a trustee”
motive, motivation, grounds, cause, occasion, reason, point, basis, justification More“the purpose of his visit”intention, aim, object, objective, goal, end, plan, scheme, target;ambition, aspiration“their purpose was to subvert the economy”advantage, benefit, good, use, value, merit, worth, profit;informal mileage, percentage“I cannot see any purpose in it”function, role, use“the original purpose of the porch”
a person’s sense of resolve or determination.“there was a new sense of purpose in her step as she set off”
synonyms: determination, resolution, resolve, steadfastness, backbone, drive, push, enthusiasm, ambition, motivation, commitment, conviction, dedication;informal get-up-and-go“they started the game with purpose”
a particular requirement or consideration, typically one that is temporary or restricted in scope or extent.“pensions are considered as earned income for tax purposes”
1.have as one’s intention or objective.“God has allowed suffering, even purposed it”
synonyms: intend, mean, aim, plan, design, have the intention; Moredecide, resolve, determine, propose, aspire“they purposed to reach the summit”
I can identify with the synonyms of purpose: determination, resolution, resolve, steadfastness, backbone, drive, push, enthusiasm, ambition, motivation, commitment, conviction, dedication. ALL of these words describe me, but they don’t address my purpose in life. I’m very determined to succeed, be happy and live my best life ever.
If that can be considered a ‘purpose’ then so be it.
Live well and prosper, my friend. Live well and prosper.