Why You Should Never Retire, nor Want To


As I do many mornings, I went to look at the pool behind my English school. I expected to see clean clear water as usual, but today was different. There was a bird lying in the pool, and it was still moving.  I removed the bird and placed it on the ground. The poor thing was twitching but was still alive.

I knew this was the end for that bird and it made me think. Is that our lives? We attempt to fly and sometimes we do. Eventually we fail and live out our last days lying in a pool. It was a little depressing but I had to go on with my day.

After an hour of work I returned to check on my terminally ill feathered acquaintance. Fully expecting that the movement would have stopped, I was shocked to see the bird was gone! I searched the area and there was no sign of it. It had flown again, and taken my depressing life metaphor with it.

People talk about retirement as if it is the ultimate goal.

Sit by the pool or the beach. Play golf. Drink wine. The faster we can arrive at this state of inactivity the better, or so we think. But what if there is no retirement? Maybe there’s more to our older days than just rest. Maybe we can still fly again.

Whether you are “retiring” soon or not, here are a few ideas to keep you soaring all through your later years.

#1. Don’t retire

The goal for many shouldn’t be to stop working, but to remove the need to work. When your retirement account is funded, your kids are grown and your house is paid for, work doesn’t have to end. What better time to work for joy and work to make a difference. This doesn’t mean that you have to keep a nine to five all your life, but find something you love and do it to the end. Charles Schulz, the creator of the comic strip the Peanuts, died the day before his final comic strip ran.

#2. Take advantage of this high income time

Unlike in your earlier years, you are now wiser and more experienced. Many find that their 50’s are the highest earning years of their careers. You have been through it. You have learned. You have grown. You aren’t concerned with following the path of others. You may have more value to the marketplace than ever before.

#3. Don’t be afraid to start something new

Colonel Sanders didn’t franchise Kentucky Fried Chicken until he was 62 years old. It’s never too late to make your impact on the world. Just because you haven’t done it yet, does not mean that you can’t. Maybe a new project, a new goal or a new dream is exactly what you are being called to do.

So feel free to jump in the pool sometimes. However, unlike my bird buddy, you won’t need help getting out. Plan to make your golden years golden. It’s never too late to fly.

What would your work look like if you know longer had bills? Let me know in the comments. If you like this, share it. Thanks for reading. Take flight, the sky is waiting.