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Quit Buying into The Myth of “Retirement”

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The following article is excerpted from Healthy Aging® Magazine. To continue reading this article and more like it, subscribe to Healthy Aging® Magazine, the lifestyle magazine that is all about following your passion and what you can do rather than what you can’t.

By George Jerjian

Ah, retirement. That long-awaited golden era of lazy lunches, rounds of golf, daily yoga, and checking travel destinations off your bucket list. After decades of hard work, you’ll finally be living the dream. Right?

Wrong. Sadly, retirement today isn’t the picture postcard we’ve all been led to believe. Far from it. This is the retirement most of us now face…

  • We will outlive our savings by at least ten years, facing poverty at the worst possible time in our lives.
  • After sixty-five, our health will become our biggest concern, and we’ll be more prone to illness and disease.
  • And worst of all, aimlessness will lead us to loss of identity, loneliness, and despair.

Sounds terrible, doesn’t it?

Believe me, it is. I was forced to retire aged just fifty-two after the doctor gave me just six months to live.

Thankfully, his diagnosis was wrong, but so was the hellish retirement I was propelled into. I had money, family, friends, an active social life, and something to fill my time, but I was empty, lonely, and unfulfilled.

The reason? I had no purpose. Nothing to get me out of bed in the morning. I was simply filling time. I soon began to take naps in the afternoon. I had zero energy, and my health suffered. I was quietly tiptoeing toward death. I knew I needed something else, so I went on an urgent mission to find it.

Finding My Purpose

Finding my purpose started with a thirty-day silent retreat. I’m a noisy guy and to be surrounded by complete silence was brutal at first, but as time went on, I began to learn more and more about myself and what I wanted from life.

I began to see that out of every crisis I had experienced in my life came the next opportunity: without the crisis, the opportunity would not have appeared. After months of research and study, I realized my purpose.

I wanted to dispel the myth of retirement we’ve all been sold, and open people’s eyes to the reality of later life instead.

Building My Tribe

So that’s what I did and continue to do. Through my unique and original DARE program, I help baby boomers find their purpose.

I challenge those stuck in retirement or preparing for it to make positive changes, to understand the physical and emotional blocks that hold them back. And then, I help them move forward towards a better life and a brighter future.

It’s a challenging and emotional journey, but it’s worth it, as are you.

Three Easy Steps

Where do I start? How do I find my purpose? What does purpose even mean?

I get asked the same questions all the time. Finding your true passion in life isn’t easy, especially when you have ties and commitments, but it is possible. The key thing is to change how you see the world and yourself.

Moving from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset brings a host of new opportunities. You must take the first steps because motion breeds clarity.

Here are three simple steps to set you on that journey…

Firstly, don’t think of retirement as a financial or leisure plan, but a new life of recreation, in the true sense of the word, where you get to create a life you desire, not one where you are condemned to live as others expect.

You can have all the money and freedom in the world, but you won’t be happy if you don’t have purpose.

Why do you think so many celebrities and entrepreneurs are still working in their seventies, eighties, and even nineties? They could retire at fifty and spend their days cruising the world in luxury yachts and superjets, and yet, they choose to do something far more rewarding with their time.

Secondly…

George Jerjian is a mindset mentor, author of ten books, including DARE to Discover Your Purpose: Retire, Refire, Rewire, producer and speaker who dared to ‘unretire’ and since then, has dedicated his life to helping other boomers do the same.
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