Don’t Wait, Retire Every Day Instead!Submitted by Concierge Financial Planning, LLC on June 16th, 2020
The other day I received a puzzling text from my husband, Peter. “RED?” it said. After a moment of confusion, I recognized he was inviting me to Retire Every Day – in this case to join him on the back patio for a glass of wine. Peter’s new ethos – Retire Every Day – doesn’t simply refer to any one activity: it is a conscious decision to practice mentalities and ways of living today, that he previously kept putting off until retirement. To be clear, my husband is still working. If anything, he’s working longer hours now during the pandemic than he was before. Retire Every Day is simply a manual shift in perspective, from delaying enjoyment to enriching one’s days, today.
Peter’s commitment to retiring every day boils down to a handful of simple, everyday activities that he always imagined would fill his post-career days. The first, exercise, is something that most of us, my husband included, already do daily. Yet, rather than worrying about squeezing in a 45-minute workout, Peter has begun committing two full hours to exercise each day. Most often that means rising at an ungodly hour, but for him prioritizing exercise gives him time to practice a variety of physical activities, from riding the exercise bike, to lifting weights, learning yoga, or taking the time to go for a hike.
After exercise comes reading and writing. Peter always told me he’d not only have the time to dig down into his back catalogue of books once he retires, but that he’d also finally be able to put pen to paper himself. Now he makes a conscious effort each day to read or write. Some days these windows are short, but simply committing to doing a little bit each day has so far enabled him to work his way through numerous books and fill his own moleskin besides.
My personal favorite amongst Peter’s recent routine changes (and perhaps most detrimental to my own health) is his commitment to cooking. When once he would save time by prepping a huge batch of grilled chicken to be consumed with a simple salad each night, now my husband plans out the week’s meals with thought to the cooking process itself. Many a morning now begin with the sounds of sautéing in the kitchen, as one thing or another is prepped, soaked, or sliced for use in a more intricate recipe later that evening. Additionally, Peter has begun to take his wine consumption much more seriously. Rather than casually sipping wines of various vintages and origins, he has now committed to an anthropological and vinicultural study of wines from France’s Rhone valley. By focusing exclusively on a region whose wine he truly enjoys, he now can appreciate the finer details, and in that way gain much more from every bottle.
Finally, what started my husband’s entire Retire Every Day philosophy is his commitment to practicing mindfulness and meditation, or “mind training” as he calls it to avoid the discipline’s often bohemian associations. Simply put, he makes a conscious effort to be fully present in whatever he is doing, to gain the most from every activity, and hone this skill through basic meditation practices.
To Retire Every Day isn’t an excuse to work less and relax more. In fact, I find that Peter is now busier than ever. But he is busy doing things that he enjoys, that enrich him, and that allow him to get involved now in practices he previously thought he’d only have time for in retirement.