When I think about retirement, I can't help but look towards my parents who have accomplished the "retire by the beach" scenario every person seems to aspire for. However, my parents are far from living the stereotypical sedentary, retired lifestyle because they're overseeing a beach resort in Biliran and with it comes the usual headaches of managing a group of people, ensuring that operations run smoothly (or frankly that they just run, period), balancing the books etc. I'm not exaggerating when I say that they're busier now than they were pre-retirement and that my mom probably misses the security of having a steady source of income. Anyway, the point is that they were able to successfully accomplish what they've been working for all of these years and for that, you have to give them credit.
When I think of my own retirement, I definitely see myself living in a quiet house near the ocean (with nary a karaoke within hearing distance). Maybe I'll help out in managing the resort or maybe I won't, heck, there might not even be a resort to run by the time I retire! But I will have my own quiet little space with a killer view of the ocean, kind of like this house in Barbados:
I might even set up camp in Moalboal Cebu, where my mother's side is from, if Biliran no longer appeals to me by then. But while I'm still not sure where I'll be settling when that time comes, you can be certain that I'm already setting the foundation this early to ensure that I'll be retiring in comfort.
Of course, comfort is relative, such that one person may be happy in a 30sqm studio with the basic amenities, while another considers a pool and a guesthouse as non-negotiables. Different strokes for different folks talaga. For me though, comfort means having enough financially to travel 2-3 times a year, having my own place where I can read all day if I wanted to and then host a dinner party that same evening just because I can. It's not exactly basic to be frank, but it's also far from champagne wishes and caviar dreams. As you can see, I still aim for moderation even in retirement.
To keep myself busy, I want to help out in running the resort or maybe even teach in the local university. Just like my parents, I want to continue working even well into retirement, specially since I have this vision of retiring early and it seems like such a waste to spend the next 25-30 years of my life just napping or gadding about. Now I understand why people get excited about retirement, the possibilities just seem endless when you no longer have to work for pay.
In the second post of my retirement series, I'll talk about figuring out how much I'll be needing for retirement and for the third post, exactly how to go about funding my retirement.
Be sure to watch out for those!