Retirement does not have to be the end. There are many ways to retire. You do not have to feel compelled to follow the traditional path. If you shudder at the thought of a porch with a rocking chair in your future, you are not alone. It is a dream come true for some, but a nightmare for others.
This vision can be especially difficult for someone who is used to being large and in charge. There are not many masters of industry who look forward to turning over the reins to someone else and walking away from all responsibility. That said, sometimes, it is a necessity beyond their control.
Many executives have to walk away due to health. Others do it to spend time with the family they might have neglected because of their commitment to the job. Many have lifelong dreams they want to fulfill but can’t due to the unforgiving work schedule. Regardless of the reason you have for needing to slow down, just know that it does not mean you have to stop altogether. There are ways of keeping yourself in the game while going into semi-retirement. Here are a few suggestions:
Outsource Things You Used to Do Yourself
You didn’t get to where you are in life by fobbing off all the hard work to someone else. You lived by the credo, “If you want something done right, do it yourself.” Of course, that credo has its limits. There is the reality that a good manager knows when to delegate.
If you want to keep working, you are going to need to delegate some of those tasks that you are used to overseeing yourself. One thing you can do is switch to managed IT services.
It doesn’t matter if you are a brilliant tech wiz. Remember, you are trying to slow down. Let a professional company provide printing services and maintenance. Let them handle your computer and server needs. Let someone else worry about keeping everything running and up to date. You don’t have to do that sort of thing anymore. Utilize the talent of others and perhaps even save some money and time in the bargain. Focus on what matters to you. Let someone else focus on the rest.
Get into a Business That Doesn’t Demand All of Your Time
One of the best times to learn some new digital skills is after you retire. You now have the time. Why not fill it with education? Life is a journey, not a destination. Continue the journey by starting a new adventure.
One of the best new skills for anyone to learn is computer programming. They say it is for the young. But the truth is it is for everyone. You can take those skills and become an independent programmer. Make software and utilities that you want. Then sell them on apps stores. You can work at your own pace, and as little or as much as you like. Best of all, you can be paid nicely for your passion project. It hardly gets better than that.
One of the most rewarding ways to keep your head in the game without risking your body on the field is to coach. Use your lifetime of knowledge and skills to coach and teach others in the areas you know best. Many community colleges would be happy to have you come in and lecture about how the job is done in the real world. You can get paid for your expertise while passing only your knowledge to the next generation.
You might also take the opportunity to teach something completely different. Having spent a career in marketing should not stop you from becoming a music teacher at a school that could desperately use one. Become a part-time or even substitute teacher and help prepare the next generation for what is to come. It is a way of slowing down while still being useful in ways that really matter.
Don’t let anyone try to convince you that you have nothing important to offer once you retire. Slow down by outsourcing IT, moving to a career where you set your own house, and teaching others how to become as successful as you.