Depending on the organization where you work, your department may organize a farewell function. There may be a lot of speeches from both friends and even from the “non-friends” pronouncing best wished for your future. You accept all the compliments as well as the plaque from HR with grace and gratitude.

As you make your way home after the function, you experience a series of mixed emotions that range from sadness, joy, uncertainty, fear etc. Your mind wanders off to tomorrow, then to the next week and the next month. How are you going to fill that void? For 30 years you have gotten up and prepared yourself for work, drive to your workplace, perform your duties, socialize with your friends at break and most days felt a sense of fulfillment. How are you going to fill that gap? You know that you still have a lot to offer, and would prefer to continue working.

Then you create a false sense of satisfaction by drawing up a list of projects that need to get done around the home. That “honey do list” that you have been postponing until you find the time. Notwithstanding this you still feel that vacuum, because you want something more rewarding and fulfilling. You are not prepared to join the retirement club and sit back in that recliner until your days expire. You have a strong sense of conviction that there is a way you can maximize your retirement.

It is time for you to take ownership of your future. For more than 30 years your employer dictated what hours you work, when you take a break, how much you will earn, when you get paid, when you go on vacation, and the list goes on. Now is the time for you to take back control of what was lost for 30 years. Now you get to decide life on your terms and by your rules. This is not Retirement, It’s Independence Day!

There and lots of opportunities for skillful retirees (both men and women) to maximize their post retirement life. Believe me when I tell you that “you can eat your cake and have it too“. You can embark on a lifestyle where freedom and flexibility is the order of the day. For me it was starting my own home based business, which allows me to determine my hours of work and income, and the flexibility of not being tied down to a specific location. You may have some expertise that you can harness and package into a business solution. As I always say do something that you are passionate about.

To maximize your retirement and optimize your independence, you may need to take some actions that are necessary for your success:

  • Pursue anything that you are passionate about
  • Divorce yourself from the “dream killers” and detractors, who are simply there to throw cold water on your flame of passion
  • Build a circle of influence consisting of people who will encourages and supports your dreams.
  • Think about leaving a legacy for your grandchildren, because your legacy is what you will long be remembered for. Proverbs 13: 22 states that – a good man leaves an inheritance for his grandchildren.
  • Get involved with an online community where you can learn from the experience of others and avoid making unnecessary mistakes that can delay your progress.
  • Last but by no means least, see retirement as sunrise instead of sunset. Therefore don’t retire but aspire to a new lifestyle of freedom and flexibility.