Living a fulfilling and fun retirement is not always easy but as a retiree you have certain rights. I am not talking about legal rights but rather benefits that are due those of us living retired life. Think more along the lines of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”, those elements that combine to bring quality to our days.

As we enter and begin to explore our second act it is important we realize the importance and make the most of our retirement rights. We want to be happy. We deserve to be happy. What are our rights?

You have the right to your own opinion

Back in the day (employed that is) it is possible your creative inspirations may have fallen upon deaf ears. Some bosses look solely for support of their ideas hence the proliferation of career-ladder-climbing yes men and women. As a retiree no longer concerned with upward mobility you get to call it like it is. You do not have to agree and when you don’t you can say so. Freedom of speech is a genuine privilege to be exploited as you see fit. Your opinion matters and you have a right to it.

You have the right to expand your horizons

Retirement is only the beginning of a portion of life where you are in control. You are not limited to the person you are entering retirement. Rather you have decades to add to your life resume, to improve and modify the mix until you get it just the way you like it. New interests and passions will avail themselves – it is up to each of us to engage. Instead of fearing the unknown we can embrace it, testing the waters of new experiences to add to the persons we are. If we learn to feed our curiosity there is little time for boredom.

You have the right to spend your day doing what you want

In retirement your calendar belongs to you. You are no longer required to attend events that bore or aggravate you. The day starts when you say it does and you manage the game plan. With practice you can learn to strike a balance between active time and down time. It is this balance I think that is so important to insuring a fulfilling retirement. Many have to unlearn decades of following the rules and giving 110% of themselves to the wants and needs of others. In retirement we learn it is okay set your own pace and pay attention to you.

You have the right to take a break

In earlier days when responsible for maintaining family, career and some semblance of sanity the idea of taking a moment to yourself rarely crosses your mind. Sometimes the only speeds available seem to be fast and faster. It is not healthy to live at full speed all the time – you eventually burn out or blow up. In retirement you are captain of your own ship. Should you feel the urge to pull into port and chill awhile, sail on. If pruning those many rose bushes seems too much for right now pull up a lounge chair and rest a bit – they will be there when you return. Getting used to the freedom to do nothing without fear of reprisal or feelings of guilt is a right all retirees should exercise, sooner rather than later

You have the right to spoil those you love

Although not yet a grandparent I cannot think of a better role to play. Enjoy time with grand kids, spoil the heck out of them and then send them back to the parents. With free time retirees are able to spend quality non-rushed hours engaged in meaningful or just fun pursuits with those they love. Imagine focusing your efforts on family and friends without interruption or pressure to do otherwise. That is something worth the wait.

You have the right to say no

If you don’t want to do it, don’t.

You have the right to dance

Or sing or laugh or skip or do whatever pleases you for the moment. You are free to let your inner child out to play when the mood strikes. Don’t worry about impressing others. Don’t concern yourself with what others think. If it feels good just do it.

The thing about retirement rights is you are responsible to see they are enforced. It is up to each retiree to make sure their second act is balanced, meaningful, fun, and memorable. No one is going to do it for us. But what a glorious feeling to have some degree of control over our days.


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