Top Ten Ways to Retire Retirement

1. Retire the word "retirement" from your vocabulary. Look it up: it means to "withdraw" or "retreat." Words can shape reality, and it's time for this one to go. Doesn't "renaissance" or "graduation" better describe your post-career life?

2. Realize that retirement is a relatively new concept in human evolution. A few generations ago, before social security and full-time leisure became culturally embedded as the "norm," elders remained productive members of society, relied upon for their insight, wisdom and skills. No modern society can afford the planned obsolence of its most experienced people.

3. Restructure your priorities around what is most important to you, like deepening relationships with family and friends, community service, or the arts. Now is the time to bring your professional life into line with your deeper values.

4. Renew your zest for education. The learning cells of your brain are hungry for new and stimulating challenges, and the welcome mat is out at many schools and universities.

5. Revitalize your energy by finding a community of people who embrace growth and change. Don't get stuck with the "been there, done that" crowd. If you rest, you rust.

6. Rekindle your spirit for risk taking. "Do not fear mistakes," said jazz immortal, Miles Davis, "There are none." If not you, then who? If not now, when?

7. Respond to new opportunities. Remain open to the infinite possibilities the world has to offer. Your full potential lies ahead.

8. Recharge your system by moving your body regularly. Walk, dance, swim, do yoga, take up hiking or biking. Find something you really enjoy and make it a part of your daily wellness program. Buddy up to stay motivated.

9. Revisit your childhood dreams. It's never too late to be who you might have been. Go for it!

10. Remember that the wisdom to discover and act on your deepest passion and purpose is within you.

Enjoy the journey!

(Adapted from Top Ten Ways to Retire Retirement, copyright

Marika Stone is co-founder of">, the website of retirement alternatives, and co-author of Too Young to Retire: 101 Ways to Start the Rest of Your Life (Plume 2004). She has been a journalist, teacher of writing, public relations executive, and small business owner.


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