10 Guiding Principles For The “New Retirement”

by Jason on August 30, 2010

A new retirement is here.  The retirement landscape has changed!

There.  I said it.  But you already knew that didn’t you?

Things are different than they were three years ago in 2007, when the Dow Jones was above 14,000, your home increased by 15% every year and cats and dogs played nice together!

But now, in 2010, dogs are chasing cats again, your home has dropped by 15% or more and the Dow has woken from the dead of 6,600 but can’t seem to sit above 10k for more than a few weeks.

Things are different.

And that’s okay.

It’s okay because there has been a shift in the definition of retirement for the last several years, one that’s not totally dependent on the market or housing.

What is the new retirement?  It’s not just sitting at home watching Drew Carey destroy the Price is Right or even doing positive things like double checking all your beneficiaries so you know you have the right ones listed.

Here are 10 guiding principles for the New Retirement:

New Retirement Principle #1: Don’t Stop Working

More and more folks these days are working beyond age 65.

They enjoy working and want to continue to be a contributing member of society.

Gone are the days where you worked for 30-40 years, stopped and then veg’d out for the next 15 or so.

In the new retirement work still exists, it just looks a little different than your normal 9-5.

New Retirement Principle #2: Do Something You Love

Work looks different in the new retirement because folks are becoming more interested in doing something they really love.

Instead of dragging your feet to work every day, a lot of baby boomers are fulfilling their life’s dream to do what they love – what they’re passionate about.

That will look differently for everyone, but think about what it is that makes you tick – is there a way to make money at it?

New Retirement Principle #3: Become More Concerned With True Wealth

Speaking of doing things that you’re passionate about – I believe that True Wealth is really defined by the 3 P’s – People, Passion and Purpose.

The new retirement focuses on investing into the lives of people, pursuing what you are passionate about and living life with purpose!

This brings greater fulfillment than any amount of comma’s alone could bring.

Use your material wealth to pursue True Wealth!

New Retirement Principle #4: Become More Charitable

Keeping it all for yourself is a surefire way to become a crotchety old man or woman!

Be generous.  Be charitable.  Look for ways to benefit others, not just yourself.  Here’s is one blogger’s strategy for giving away millions!

The new retirement is concerned about others well-being, not just your own.

New Retirement Principle #5: Become Debt Free

The new retirement is intent on getting out of debt!  Living high on the hog while you mortgage your future isn’t the way to a happy retirement any more.

If you can pay off your mortgage, your cars and get rid of all debt – you’ll be much more free to do what you want, when you want in retirement!

You’ll be able to enjoy yourself much more and will be less worried about a “fixed income” or a lower income for that matter.

New Retirement Principle #6: Become More Frugal

Frugality is the new game in town.  And it’s also the name of the game in the new retirement.

Make frugality fun.  Being frugal doesn’t mean being cheap – there is a difference.

It does mean that you consciously shop for deals, bargains, and use your money wisely – not frivolously.

New Retirement Principle #7: Become More Entrepreneurial

Don’t be afraid to tap the creative juices and become an entrepreneur.

There is sometimes a stigma with entrepreneurship, that you must be filthy rich in order to be an entrepreneur.  I don’t think that’s the case.

You can easily start up an online business, or a consulting gig and start marketing yourself.

Just be sure you weigh the costs and the benefits.  Keep the costs down and go for it.  What have you got to lose?  You may find you love building something from scratch!

New Retirement Principle #8: Become More Diversified With Your Income

Folks in the new retirement don’t rely on Social Security or their pension.  They seek ways to create additional income.

Ranging from turning your hobby into a business, becoming an avid e-Bay seller, blogging to create income, becoming a freelance writer or any other number of things that can diversify your inflows – getting multiple sources of income is a smart thing to do.

Of course, there are some things you’re better off not trying when it comes to diversifying your income.

But again, as I said with principle #7 – be creative – figure out some alternative ways to make a little extra cash.

New Retirement Principle #9: Develop a More Simplified Lifestyle

The New Retirement understands that just because you can “have it all” doesn’t mean you should.

Folks in the New Retirement are quite content with living a minimalist lifestyle.

When you simplify your finances, it leads to less clutter, more contentment and can help free up the frantic pace of life we often lead in our pursuit of bigger and better!

If you’re just getting into the simplified or minimalist lifestyle, you may want to check out Minimalist Living 101.

New Retirement Principle #10: Serve the Common Good of Your Community

I’m reminded of Jeremiah 29:7:

But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.

God’s command to Jews exiled into Babylon was to serve the common good of the community.  How much more should we serve the common good of the places we live, work and play?

Folks in the new retirement seek opportunities to build up the community by volunteering, mentoring, teaching and simply investing time and energy to make their communities attractive.

What are Your Thoughts on the New Retirement?


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