At age 81 Leonard Cohen is still performing. This maybe would not have been the case if someone had taken off with the millions he saved up. At age 73, after living 5 years as a Zen Monk, he went back to Los Angeles – broke. He was forced was to preform again. His music had come alive once again with Hallelujah being a top down-loader. This is his encore.
What would have happened if Leonard Cohen was not forced to perform again? In all probability, he could have lost all sense of meaningfulness, he could have been overcome with boredom and then after that depression. This could might as well meant an early death.
For many of us retirement is looming ever closer. For some it the Grim Reaper coming and for others it is something to look forward to. The truth is, that we need to be realistic about our retirement. It is not something to be afraid of, neither is it as romantic as it may sound. Retirement is just another faze in life, but unlike other periods in the life cycle; this one be approached with a life time of wisdom.
It is never too late to plan wisely for your retirement. This planning needs to be done on two levels: 1. a financial level and especially on a 2. a life level. On a financial level you have make peace with the fact that you will never have enough to retire form. You will most certainly have to remain working to make ends meet. This however, is not as bad as it sounds. As om the case of Leonard Cohen, meaningful work not only brings joy to one’s life it also keeps us alive. Many retirees, should they stop engaging in meaningful activities after retirement, start to feel redundant and that life has become meaningless. Do not be the victim of a meaningless life! This brings us to point 2 – while you will have to work to meet your financial obligations, you might as well make your work meaningful. Do something which brings joy and meaning to your life. A simple planning process should include the following factors.
Do something which brings you joy. That is, do something which makes you feel empowered and energized when the activity is done.
Do something which brings meaning. Be a contributor to life and other people.
Do something which is a challenge. Try something new and do not be afraid to stretch yourself.
Do something which makes you feel connected to other people. Reach out to especially younger people. Learn from them and laugh with them.
Make your encore brilliant. Your life’s performance need not end at 65. As a matter of fact, you have at least another 20-30 years to be a unique performance.