Forget retirement. It is a word best suited to appliances, old cars and farm animals that are put out to pasture.
Retirement. This word comes with many emotionally charged ideas. Mostly negative. For my father's generation retirement was the reward that came after a long working life. If you were lucky the company pension plan would kick in at age 65. If not you had to rely on what little you had saved and the government pension would take care of you. This concept of retirement has not survived as long as those still believing in it. It is deader than roadkill.
Today we know that retirement is still a goal for the working masses. A time when we can relax and play with our grandchildren. Except we have had to plan for retirement with private retirement policies and savings. Not much of change from my dad's days, but more empowering for sure. More scary too if you not built up a decent nest egg over twenty or more years. This idea of retirement also needs to be put to sleep.
Forget retirement. It is a word best suited to appliances, old cars and farm animals that are put out to pasture. Instead let us consider another idea. Instead of retirement we need to reinvent ourselves. This process is not for our sixties either. Reinvention is best undertaken many times over our lifetime. At least every five years, maybe more, beginning from when we leave school.
What is reinvention all about? For starters if you have been an adult for some time, lets say in your forties, then you have probably reinvented yourself many times already. Perhaps a change in job, career, marriage, children, clothing and in many other ways to survive and thrive. The trick is to recognise these changes and use them for a process of mental change too. To put it bluntly sometimes we need to catch a wake-up! Do ourselves a favour and live life. Stop moaning and blaming others and get on with it.
How to do this? Many ways beckon and opportunities abound if we look for them. Continuing education is critical. Learn skills. Read. Listen to podcasts, audio books and try out ways to expand your mind and horizons. Each time we do this we are reinventing ourselves. It is a process of empowerment. Freedom from established dogma.
Reinvention in our sixties? Do you know that the most affluent retirees have multiple income streams after retirement? 98% according to figures from insurance giant Sanlam. In my dad's day the idea of income streams in retirement, other than pension, was laughable. A sign that you have failed to carry out the masterplan. Today we understand that keeping our minds active in work that we love and choose to do is the key to fulfillment. Sure you need a financial cushion in place for peace of mind, but you can now remain part of the economy, contribute and share in ways that were unthinkable twenty years ago.
Why is this article headed Artists Don't Retire? Artists refers to anyone thinking and acting creatively. Artists take responsibility for themselves and take action. Reinvention is the way for all artists of the world.
Malcolm Dewey: Artist. Country: South Africa