Retirement: What gets you up?

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It’s over! Sunday I set the clocks back when daylight savings time ended. I used to look forward to the end of daylight savings time just for that one extra hour of sleep. No more. This year without the rigid schedule of a job, the time change is nothing more than a regulatory quirk. I can ignore it if I choose. Retirement means that I can get up when I want.

This raises a whole new issue. In my working days, getting up was not an option. I was committed to spending 8 hours a day at a location of my employer’s choice and my prime objective each morning was to deliver myself to that location whatever it took. Mostly that meant dragging myself out of bed and showing up at the job site. I didn’t want to get up most days but what I wanted was irrelevant. I didn’t have control. I put the best face on the situation I could. I pretended. I said I liked my job. I said I liked my coworkers. And so for 35 years I got up every morning and went to work.

These days it is different. I don’t have to get up. There is no place I have to be. There is no obligation I must meet. Somehow, however, I do get my self out of bed each morning. I don’t have to engage. I could sit around doing nothing if I wanted to or learn to play golf. But I don’t. I don’t see my retirement that way. It is more like a mission. So why do I get out of bed each morning? It isn’t an easy question to answer. I have created activities that fill my day but it is more important that those activities are part of a plan. Some activities are pleasure but most are tied to creating a new income stream to supplement my retirement income and make an outrageous lifestyle possible These activities don’t produce much income yet but they still take large amounts of time. Some of the outrageous features of my planned lifestyle are still on the horizon but most days I keep a regular schedule and get up eager to dig in.

It is clearly a different motivation that gets me up these days. As an employee I bought into the job commitment because I had a family and obligations to satisfy. I didn’t have the luxury of discretion. There was no question about getting up because my family’s well being depended upon me showing up each day. Now, retirement covers my basic needs. We won’t starve or be homeless whether I get up or stay in bed. I need a new motivator.

What gets me up these days is a vision of my future outrageous retirement lifestyle. It’s not a vision about taking it easy or playing golf. It is a vision about doing things I enjoy with my wife and family without worrying about what it costs. Some of it I can do now but only with careful planning to schedule those events into my life and budget the money to make them possible. Other parts of the vision depend on building more income. The rest of my time is focused on business building to make it all happen. Even now with the work and rewards still in the future, I am living an outrageous retirement. I don’t have the lifestyle of my dreams but my life is outrageous in the most important way possible. I am not finished with my life. I am not settling for an average retirement. I have my sights set high and each day takes me closer to reaching my dream. So long as that dream keeps me getting up each morning, I am living an outrageous retirement that few people achieve.

What is your dream? What gets you up each morning? Whether you are retired, planning to retire or wondering if you can ever retire are you settling or are you outrageous?

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{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Bob @ JuicyMaters.com November 8, 2010, 11:58 am

    Hmmm…why do I get up? Well…the short, smart-assed answer is to let the dog out so I don’t have to clean up dog crap.

    Longer answer? Sometimes the answer is easy…I think I can contribute some small motivation for folks to try to regain the country our founding fathers created. I’m passionate about constitutional government, no more, no less. That’s what the political section of JuicyMaters.com is all about.

    I’m also competitive as hell, and when I first toyed with thoughts of blogging I ran across a blog that was started on May 1, 2006 by a bored ranch wife 30 minutes from the nearest town and an hour and a half from the nearest WalMart who started blogging to stay in contact with family and friends. She now (actually as of this past May, after 4 years of blogging) has 20 million hits a month, with an average of 80,000 comments a week, and about $18,000 a week in advertising revenue. Oh…forgot…this past June she was on ABC’s Good Morning America, FOX News’s Fox and Friends, and ABC’s The View, and has a best-selling cookbook, out last November of recipes from her blog.

    My thoughts? Really NOT the money, though that would be nice.

    I’m competitive…if she can do it, so can I.

    Oh yeah…she homeschools her four kids too, and does a good job of it.

    That’s why I get up…I’m trying to catch up with Ree Drummond over at The Pioner Woman

  • Ralph November 8, 2010, 12:15 pm

    Yeah, Bob. That’s a fantastic motivator- catching a good woman.

  • Bob Lowry November 8, 2010, 7:53 pm

    I like the concept of an outrageous retirement lifestyle because it can mean different things to different people.

    I don’t have an interest in building another business. I did that once and I’m not motivated to do it again. It allowed me to retire early but put a real strain on my marriage and my own self-development because of the hours and travel commitments.

    I thought when I retired I’d want to travel the world, take long cruises a few times a year, and get an RV and hit the road. When I could do that it turned out I didn’t want to.

    So, my outrageous retirement lifestyle is nothing like I envisioned it would be, but much more satisfying and enjoyable than I imagined.

    As an aside, one of the advantages of living in Arizona….no Daylight Savings Time!
    Bob Lowry’s last Blog Post ..Blogging – Why Me

  • Ralph November 9, 2010, 9:47 am

    Bob L,
    You definitely get what I am trying to say about outrageous. It isn’t conventional wisdom. It isn’t what somebody else suggests. It is what you really want. And it may not seem outrageous to somebody else. If I lived in Arizona, I’d probably reverse my life in the summer and sleep during the daytime.
    Ralph’s last Blog Post ..Healthy Aging – Barley is a superfood

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