As another year passes, it makes me think about planning for retirement. No, this isn’t a retirement announcement. I’m just doing some end-of-year self-reflection — an annual status check so to speak. And, for a change of pace, this year I am sharing my thoughts with whoever reads this.
Will I be ready? And what does that really mean? For most people I know, it means saving or accumulating enough money to live “a good life.” But what actually is that?
For many, it probably means continuing their current lifestyle, sans going to work every day. For others, it may involve travel or enjoying other new experiences.
But what about our health? Do we invest enough in our health and fitness in preparation for retirement. Perhaps we take this part for granted. After all, my ideal “good life” in retirement includes a comfortable lifestyle AND the good health to enjoy it.
This makes me think of the magic quadrants (pictured). Ideally, I will be in the top right quadrant enjoying the benefits of physical vitality and ample savings. And that definitely means avoiding the dreaded lower left quadrant of poor health and little money.
Yet, what if I only have one of these elements in place? Would I rather have an abundance of money OR good health? I’ve met many people with one or the other, but rarely both. I don’t want to forego either, but if I must choose, I’d prefer health — something I’ve learned to appreciate more with the passage of time.
Fortunately, so far I’ve been blessed to live life with full mobility, and the absence of chronic pain or serious cardiac limits. I’m hopeful that if I continue to work diligently at it, I’ll be able to get out and experience the outdoors with relative ease, play ball with my grandkids, and fully participate in the major moments of family life. Most of the things that really matter — at least to me — aren’t that expensive. And the expensive things aren’t as important in the big scheme of things to me.
I am still working toward the magic (upper right) quadrant and doing my best to make sure that if I miss it, I at least hit the upper left quadrant. Of course, there are no guarantees in life. I have no promise of tomorrow (let alone years in retirement). And, who knows, I may get dealt a bad hand.
So, while I’m working on my fitness and my finances, I am also appreciating each day, along with family, friends, co-workers, and clients that make the experience such a joy (I think I may already be living in the magic quadrant). I’m hoping that each of you finds the same.