Trial Retirement

Trying on retirement before you actually do retire can be useful. It can give you some information about yourself and your management of time that may be helpful for when you actually stop working. Recently I took a month away from my job and rented a place in Arizona. The way I structured my days was to get up early in the morning, spend a few hours checking in on the internet, writing some articles or reading, then going hiking until lunchtime. I let hiking be my “work” each day, the thing I was required to do. The rest of the time I worked on music, visited friends, shopped and cooked, just the normal things I would do having a day off at home. Was I able to handle the lack of structure? Yes, indeedy! But by structuring part of my day, that gave me a reason to get up in the morning. Yes, it was only a month and that was great. Would I become restless after a while and want something more meaningful to do than hiking? Possibly. Probably in a few months I would need to dig deeper to feel useful. But since it was just a month and not the rest of my life, I was content to let it be more like vacation.

Is there a way you can “preview” retirement by taking as much as month away from your present job? I highly recommend it. It’s not possible for a lot of people, but if there is a way you can give yourself a glimpse of what your days might be like being retired, go for it!

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