The transition to retirement can be tricky for many, as spending discretionary income we can’t earn back seems risky. The last time that we got together, Barbara and I were talking about her pending vacation. Not only her pending vacation, but the vacation that she just went on, and how that was similar to a mini-retirement. Today we are talking about canceled plans. And I'm sure that you the listener has had some canceled plans this year, too.
Planning is Difficult During This Period of Time
I've had a couple of canceled plans. When COVID first started, I was really just getting off of a cruise. We almost didn't go on that cruise but my husband and I kept going back and forth on it. Like many, we didn't think the virus was going to get as bad as it did. What we di was we prayed about it. For those of you who listen, you know that I am someone who prays. It's not something that I focus on during the show, but we prayed about it and we ended up going on our trip. Honestly, that last cruise was probably one of the most interesting cruises we've ever been on because it was the cruise that kept going back and forth to Florida. For one reason or another, we kept heading back to the port.
Since then, though, I had a trip to Hawaii, that was canceled, a wedding that was canceled, and a lot of other events that have been canceled or postponed.
Barbara also had a bunch of canceled plans. Starting with their 40th-anniversary trip. Barbara and her husband had planned to go to Cancun and the Riviera Maya. That's 10 glorious days planned! One at a resort and one on Isla Mujeres, a small little island off the coast of Mexico that she had always wanted to take her husband to. This trip was supposed to be in April. As the virus was unfolding in March, it became clear that everything was shutting down and it was really disappointing for them.
Barbara thinks that 40 years of marriage is a big deal that is why it should be celebrated. They had a pretty big financial investment on that trip though they got most of the money back. Still, money wasn't the issue. It was just that dream and that expectation of getting to go.
Barbara's Big Retirement Party
From previous episodes, we've talked and established that Barbara is an extreme extrovert. She's that person that wants a huge party. Her kids have known for years what that party was, they knew where it was going to be. They knew that they were going to have to take off work and come up with the grandkids so that all her friends could see her children and grandchildren.
And to realize that, no, there probably won't be a party is hugely disappointing for Barbara. Yet, Barbara knows in her heart that there'll be something down the line when it is safe to travel and maybe it'll be better. She's trying to take an optimistic approach because, in the end, what's important is that they're safe. Sometimes she feels guilty that she have that option to consider having a big party and having a trip planned. On the brighter note, she just thinks it's been delayed, not necessarily canceled.
This Should Have Been The Last Hoorah
Sometimes retirement parties are opportunities to say goodbye to these people because this will be kind of the last time you'll see some of them. Having it a year later, probably wouldn't work and although zoom is better than nothing, let's face it, you don't get the hugs. Because physically being able to hug somebody means so much.
In this time of COVID, we're not hugging, we're not shaking hands. I just wonder, what is that doing to our mental health? What is it doing to our well being? Barbara is a big hugger. She's missing hugs as well. It's tough.
What do you do? One of the things that I've learned when I'm reading articles and reading blogs is some people are forming pods. For the listeners, the pod is where you get maybe two or three families together and you have a pact that you will not get together with anybody else. Basically, your pod is your socially distancing. You can basically become each other's families. And that you promise that you will not go out in public and do things that will expose you to COVID except within this pod.
Give Yourself Something to Look Forward To
Sometimes having something to look forward to is more valuable than any money or deposit you might lose. In terms of retirement planning, Barbara has been listening to all kinds of webinars and seminars that her employer offers. When you're in work mode, these things go past you with these emails and training and classes and you just let them go by and it's kind of like when you're pregnant, you all suddenly see all these other pregnant people.
Now that Barbara's on the road to retirement, she's seeing all these opportunities that she didn't pay attention to at work. Every month, there's training and classes that are offered, but there's always one about preparing for retirement.
Now there's zoom. She's learned more about deferred compensation and more about Social Security. And then there was one that really aligned with the Rock Your Retirement program where it wasn't anything about money, rather it was about creating your personal definition of retirement. The presenter was talking about the steps of retirement, the stages of retirement, how important it is to redefine who you are, and just the different approaches. The time Barbara's spending in either reading or listening to the Rock Your Retirement podcasts or these classes is just really helping her form an idea of what her life is going to look like in retirement.
Read all of Barbra's blog posts by visiting https://www.rockyourretirement.com/blog/
Mentioned in this episode:
This post of Retirement and Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com