The R Word
I know everyone is different but if you're like me, you may be thinking that you have no intention of stopping work just because you reach the 'recognised' retirement age.
Thankfully, I have some fighting-fit-friends who are well into their 60s and 70s and have no intention of stopping work or slowing down. I say thankfully, because these are the people I aspire to be like. Friends who know that retirement is not a goal, it's not something we work towards after which we receive a reward for our many years of toil - perhaps a gold watch or maybe if we're really lucky, a chiming (and very annoying) clock! These friends are the people I like to spend time with as they keep themselves (and those around them) young and as a result, they seem ageless.
These are people who are still really active, who travel regularly, who are open to new experiences and opportunities, who feel fulfilled and who love live.
By contrast, we all recognise the stereotype of the retiree who shuffles off from their productive working life to then spend their days on the bowling green or in the garden, never to be heard from again. This, to me, feels like a slow and certain path to becoming old and unwanted, aka invisible. I know which type I aspire to be.
So what are the alternatives?
If you go online you will find a huge array of advertisements and articles aimed at people who are looking to start up their own online business, and a large number of them state that you will amass riches quickly by following a few simple steps. Hmmm. I'm pretty sure you would agree with me that anything that sounds too good to be true, usually is. Conversely, anything that we value in our life has usually come about through real effort and a lot of focus.
My voyage of discovery into alternatives began after I was made redundant (for the second time). Instead of going into panic mode, I decided this was a great opportunity to look for a different type of work so that as I got older I could determine the outcome and conditions of my working life, rather than someone else deciding this for me.
I'll be honest with you. My investigations took many hours. There is a lot of information available online and much of it is misleading. I was searching for online and home-based businesses and one link I came across was for a business called Six Figure Mentors (SFM). They offered the opportunity to learn about starting your own digital business and there was an option to subscribe to a free 7-day video series. After watching these seven videos on various aspects of running a digital business I decided to enrol and start finding out more.
I can honestly say it's been an amazing opportunity and one I'm really glad I decided to pursue. As well as an in-depth education around digital marketing I have had the support of a global community who also believe in creating a future for themselves where they get to make the decisions around where and when they work.
So, rather than buying into the retirement conversation I have decided to take responsibility for where and when I work and, with that, have the freedom to carry on doing the things that I love.
Fighting fit in my fifties!