As we look at our retirement plan with concern, we realize that we need to continue working longer than we once imagined. For many Americans, modern- day retirement now includes working at least part-time. There are financial benefits, and it can help you stay active, engaged and happier during your retirement years.
A recent New York Times documentary, The Happiest Guy In The World introduces you to Mario Salcedo who is a modern day retiree. You’ll get a peek at his day to day life which includes plenty of time alone, working online five hours a day as an investment manager, and living on a cruise ship.
Mario frequently claims to be “the happiest guy in the world.” As you watch the documentary, you’ll get to contemplate many things and decide if you think he could be the happiest guy in the world or not. However, it’s his perspective that he is the happiest guy in the world. Embracing an excellent attitude for any of us despite our situation and environment seems to be something that can make us able to live with claims such as life is great, living the dream, and titling ourselves the happiest person in the world.
After you view the documentary, plan plenty of time to review the comments as they can be interesting. It shows us that being happy is subjective. No matter what your perspective is on this documentary, it’s interesting to see what we all consider a good life and a dream retirement.
The book, The Longevity Economy shares that old age is a made up story. We have stories about all of our life stages which are born from our experiences, personalities and life events. There seem to be fewer retirement stories than any other time in our life. The stories that are available make us believe that the last third of our life is a vacation which just isn’t reality. As with many stories, our life stages are glamorized such as our teen years filled with dating, a newlywed lifestyle, a business person lifestyle with freedom and income or a family person embracing a lifestyle with children such as in the film The Family Man with Nicholas Cage and Tea Leoni.
Growing older and retiring is anything but a vacation. If you have health issues which creep into our life often as we grow gracefully older, it doesn’t feel and seem like a vacation as we encounter adjustments to our lifestyles. Health issues are one of many circumstances which can impact our retirement financially. When we are facing retirement without the finances we need, it requires us to consider alternatives such as continuing to work.
Because we don’t have stories of authentic retirement, we cannot prepare for the stage of life called retirement. We find it easier to plan for college, a career, marriage, family, and vacations because we understand them and can set goals for them easier than we can for the mystical retirement. Most of us understand we aren’t going to be on vacation for the last chapter of our lives. However, we want to find a lifestyle that is achievable, more relaxed, financially secure, and let us embrace our unique definition of happiness. As we think about the lifestyle we want in our retirement years, look at each day, each month and set goals with work, volunteering, visiting relatives, being engaged socially, and traveling, even if it is seeing local attractions.
The documentary of The Happiest Man In The World puts us in a contemplative state of mind. It helps us define what happiness means in our life. The cruise ship life and the lifestyle Mario is embracing may not be your cup of tea, but it can make you put some thought into embracing happiness for your retirement years even if you are a modern retiree who has to work every day.