What? Is retiring without regrets even possible? Yes, it is. Below are a few suggestions from my limited experience.
Plan ahead and get professional financial advice. You may not have all the savings you need, but you may have enough savings to make sensible investment decisions that will allow you to continue earning.
Do not plan to work for money, but if you must, embrace it. I know this may not go down well with some readers. However, what I mean is that if you prepare well for retirement with the mind-set of not working for money and if you extend yourself to work smartly while you continue in your full time employment, paid work may not become an absolute necessity after you retire.
Do not leave the work force too early. The last years of full-time employment are often when you network with seasoned professionals. Build on those networks and you will find that during retirement, the persons in your network remain your friends.
Don’t set rigid retirement goals. My experience has been that some of these goals are soon dumped as grand children beckon, wedding anniversaries and university graduations across the oceans beckon and that cruise/vacation also beckons. And guess what, you make quick and sensible travel decisions and… you are gone.
Make a list of activities you always enjoy. As a teenager, I worked at the public library. I used to prepare for the tiny tots’ story hour, using my artistic skills to prepare Micky and Minnie Mouse posters, and share in reading those hilarious stories that made the tiny tots giggle. Today in retirement, I accompany my son and my grandchildren to the public library carrying an over sized bag and hauling home 15 or more books for our reading pleasure, every three weeks.
Use the same skills you used in the corporate world to make your life plans. So, you were managing the company’s strategic planning process. You were evaluating business processes. Why not use those skills in your personal life? Why not apply those skills by volunteering to help at a project in your community.