If I ask around amongst friends and acquaintances, what retirement means to them, I get a wide variety of replies. The ones who had "hated their jobs" which they performed only, to get a paycheck from which they could live and on which they could bring up families, could not, at the initial stages, be happier. The others who had lost their jobs, because of some corporate reorganization, downsizing or whatever else they called the event when you got the "sack", mostly regret it, because they were totally unprepared and felt tossed on the "garbage pile" by events beyond their control.
And then there were the ones who only worked for one purpose: To retire with enough cash....to retire early and do what they wanted to do! Unlike the former groups, the last ones had some idea about what they wanted to do with their retirement. In fact, many of them got so carried away, that their retirement was a bit like their former working life: Stressful, achievement oriented, full of conflict at various levels, without any time to reflect...........
It was just a continuation of the way they had always lived......and they thrived in it. To them it was a good life, it was the right live, it was retirement!
Obviously, the freedom of retirement has its nice sides, provided that you are comfortably off financially. You don't have to be rich, but as long as you know where your next meal comes from and that home, car and utilities are paid and there is something left over for entertainment and other diversions and you are in good health, you can be satisfied with your lot! It is funny, because this sentence has a lot or "ands" in it. In other words, it is not a simple thing, that makes you comfortable, it is an array of wants and needs.
In addition to the physical needs and wants, you might want the human warmth, love and friendship, to enhance your life. It is not an unimportant issue and some of us need it a lot more than others.
That all makes retirement not that much different from your former working life. It might be the third part of your life and, if you are lucky, the one where you can control more than in the first two parts, but the issues you face are still the same: They are coping with life!
Tell me what you think!