Crossing Into Retirement
After spending over 13 years engaged in the business of marketing and selling real estate, I made the difficult decision to retire… for the second time. Well, my first go-round was really an implied semantic of a [military] retirement but nonetheless, I still needed to continue working to survive. The goal – to make it to a comfortable financial position for our Golden Years. The first 20 years were easy; a secure government job, steady paycheck, benefits, and travel. Looking back, I could have done that for another 20 years. The 20 years that followed my first career was definitely more challenging as I worked and worried my way through the not-so-secure private sector in Tupelo, Mississippi. I like to say that between careers, I tested out a few gigs before settling into real estate. During this short but fulfilling second career in real estate, I learned a lot, busted my ass, and enjoyed the gains and benefits. We also enjoyed some really good times until we, like many others, learned to gallantly navigate through troubled waters during the Great Recession (2007-2009). For several years after, many still struggled. And for some, things never returned to normal. With several tumultuous years in the real estate industry behind me, I was forced into making a cognitive decision to step down from the workforce and retire early. My retirement goal was to pack up and move on from where we dropped anchor some 18+ years earlier. After making that decision to retire in my latter working years, and in retrospect, I realize that while I progressed from being an entry-level real estate rookie agent up through managing broker/owner of a national real estate franchise, the true highlight during those busy years has been helping people achieve the dream of home ownership. There has never been anything more enjoyable than handing buyers the keys to their first home, witnessing the look of excitement and anxiety in their faces. For me, along with these feelings and a complete sense of accomplishment, nothing has been more rewarding… aside from what lay ahead.
A New Mantra!
Much like the anxiety associated with finding and purchasing that first home, that same level of anxiety can exist when the idea of retirement finally approaches. For generations of Americans, retirement has always been considered the final installment in the Great American Dream payout. However, the aftermath of the recent “Great Recession” and the country’s lethargic economic situation forced many people’s retirement plans to be left on the shelf. The notion of enjoying a full retirement for many remains just that – a notion. And for some, aside from all its ambiguity, it has completely dropped off of their “bucket list” altogether. (2016- Recent research suggests that more people are leaving the U.S. and other western counties for more comfortable retirements in other havens – Mexico and the Philippines being the two top locations for expatriation.)
I can say one thing for certain – if you think you can’t afford to retire, then you will never retire! Negative thoughts like this are the same ones we are taught as real estate agents to combat against. Successful sales people have been trained to the point where negative thoughts no longer occupy space in the mindset! But to those people who can’t seem to shake that negativity about their retirement years, know this – there are viable retirement alternatives available and it just requires practicing the concept of “out-of-the-box” thinking.
Have you ever thought about living overseas?
It Takes a Plan!
Henry Ford once said “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—
stress-free reduced-stress lifestyle, wherever your chosen paradise may be.
#earlyretirement #liveinthephilippines #livinginghepacific #livingabroad