Friday, September 18, 2015

What's Your Retirement Lifestyle?

     No one admits that they want to be labeled or put into a box. It seems so confining. But, actually, most people do like to have some kind of easy identity. It bolsters their self-awareness and self-esteem, and places them into a group where they feel comfortable.

     So here are the ten basic retirement lifestyles I’ve identified – okay, maybe with tongue-in-cheek. But face it, if you’re retired, you probably fit at least partially into one of these categories. If you’re not retired, maybe this will give you an idea of what to expect after you hand in your papers and accept your gold I-watch.

     Traveler. You’ve already been to the national parks and to Europe. You likely read the New York Times Travel section. Now you’re looking to expand your horizons and hit some of the name brand destinations like the Pyramids, the Great Wall or Machu Picchu. Next you’ll be trying a different twist – not just going to Europe, but venturing to Latvia or Romania; not just visiting France or Spain, but taking a river cruise on the Loire or walking the Camino de Santiago.

     Social Butterfly. You don’t belong to a book club; you belong to three book clubs … or three bridge clubs or three lunch clubs. You feel like a failure if you find yourself at home more than one or two nights a week. You like to dance; you like to party; you like to go to meetings. It doesn’t really matter; you just like to have places to go and people to see.

     The Loafer. Definitely the Type B personality. They watch TV; they are voracious readers; they listen to music. They are at their happiest when wearing a t-shirt and slippers (or barefoot, even better!) and padding around the house feeling comfortable and content. 

     The Dreamer. Physically, you’re at home. But your mind is somewhere else. Maybe you’re planning a vacation, or researching the place where you’re going to retire, or trying to decide on a political cause to get involved in. Your fantasy life is so active that there isn’t much time to actually carry out your plans. That’s okay. Your mind is occupied; you’re not spending too much money; and you’re safe from the dangers of the world. 

     Artist. They carry a camera everyplace they go, and their walls are covered with photographs – big and small, color and black-and-white, pretty sunsets, stately architecture, sharp-angled abstracts. Or they’re into knitting or crocheting or painting or woodwork. They can be found prowling around the arts festivals; or maybe their work is featured on etsy. 

     Athlete. Maybe you play in the over-50 softball league; or you go hunting with your buddies; or play tennis at the club. Whatever the sport, it is what you live for. Then there’s the golfer who is the same as everyone else, but just takes everything a little further. Finally, there’s the fan. He’s got the hat, the jersey, the license plate and season tickets. He’s not the same as everyone else; he’s in a league of his own. 

     The Worker. Some people never retire. They love their work. Their colleagues are their friends; and . . . well, maybe they’re just afraid to go home. If forced to retire, they find another job. They’re consulting, or offering their services to a non-profit, or perhaps they’re at home, down in the basement, working on a craft or home-improvement project. 

     Stock Market Guru. They read Barron’s and the Wall Street Journal. They watch Bloomberg and CNBC. They know about alpha and beta, and price-to-earnings ratios as well as all the trendy new products. Every evening they log onto a financial website and check the balance in their IRA or 401K . Win or lose, they know they are on top of things. 

     The Volunteer. You usually focus on one particular cause. Maybe it’s your church, where you volunteer on the auction committee and help out at the church rummage sale, and sing in the choir and spend Sundays as a deacon. Or, maybe you’re a volunteer fireman, or a member of the Lion’s Club or Kiwanis Club. You’re directing traffic at the July 4th celebration, grilling hamburgers at the club picnic, serving dinners at the annual fundraiser. You enjoy helping out your community, and you know everyone in town. 

     Professional Grandparent. She babysits the grandchildren two or three times a week. He has installed swings and playsets and ballfields in his backyard. They live down the street from their children. I, myself, do not have grandchildren. But I can see, there is no greater joy in life than being a professional grandparent.

     So where do you think you fit in?

     I can tell you, B is a cross between The Loafer and the Social Butterfly. It sounds incongruous, but she's always going out to meet friends for lunch, or else at church or at one of her book clubs. But when she's not doing that, she's at home in her robe either reading (usually) or else watching TV (sometimes)

     Me? Well, B and I certainly have The Loafer in common. Otherwise, I'm an Athlete (golf and table tennis, but not a "fan") and The Volunteer (at our community college).

23 comments:

DJan said...

I guess I am a also a cross between The Loafer and the Athlete. I have lots of friends, but they are also hikers or take the same exercise classes that I do. But I sure do like to read and garden, so I think the cross is a good fit for me. :-)

gigihawaii said...

I am a little bit of everything.

Anonymous said...

One more. The Couple. We enjoy our times together. Basically loners, altho we have great friends, we love to travel together, drive to new and interesting places together that we have flown over years ago, and still hold hands and snuggle first thing in the morning before we get our coffee. Our 4 kids know we are inseparable (not insufferable ) and that while being loving parents and grandparents, we just like spending time together. I will play in the garage and she will read on the sofa, but we are still together in the sense of togetherness. Our 42 years together have flown by and we look at each other in wonderment, whaa happened?

Tabor said...

I fit in more than one place for certain!

Olga Hebert said...

I am a wannabe traveller a sometimes artist, an athletic walker and yoga practicer, volunteer, grandparent, and a social butterfly if I can follow that with a period of loafing. I am too busy to work and I ignore the stock market as much as possible.

Olga Hebert said...

I am a wannabe traveller a sometimes artist, an athletic walker and yoga practicer, volunteer, grandparent, and a social butterfly if I can follow that with a period of loafing. I am too busy to work and I ignore the stock market as much as possible.

Stephen Hayes said...

I qualify for the traveler/artist categories.

Janette said...

I am weaving my way through many of these areas.
Traveler to volunteer to stocks to loafer to part time professional grandparent.
Joined the Y today---so moving on to athlete.
Once the big dog dies (yes, the dog), back to travel!
Very fun look at retirement!

Linda Myers said...

I'm a traveler (just got back this week from 3 weeks in Central Europe), loafer (love to read and am over level 1000 on Candy Crush), worker (2 part-time gigs), volunteer. I need to be busy in body, mind and spirit.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

I'm a Worker with a little touch of Dreamer. I tried Loafing for six months and loved it but then felt the need to get going again. We really can't afford to travel very much and, besides, my husband dislikes travel as well as socializing anyway. I think we've each found ways to enjoy retirement -- though I'm becoming less and less retired as time goes on!

DDD said...

Very interesting You describe them so well.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I recognise them all . But I'm definitely a loafer at heart ; if I'm reading a good book , I don't have to move till the last page . Bliss !

Friko said...

Could I be a loafing, artistic dreamer please? That would suit me nicely.

Arkansas Patti said...

I'm a cross between an loafer and a dreamer. Neither cost much money but give a lot of pleasure.

Hauola said...

I voluntarily work and dream while in the loaf mode. It is a happy mix! Supplementing that mix of retirement lifestyles I favor slower paced travel, and spontaneous off-peak road trips of varying durations are my favorite. Several years into my retirement I am enjoying explorations of WA, AK, OR, ID, MT and WY and British Columbia.

Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com said...

Hi Tom! I think I'm a bunch of these too. Of course I'm not fully retired but I can still claim some of them in my semi-retirement. Of course I live in the Palm Springs area of California and maybe they don't do it back east like they do it out here but I think there are three more you need to add to your list...

#1 Peter Pan....there are some retirees here in our area on the West Coast that are spending every last dime they have on trying to look young and/or appear young. Plastic surgeons do VERY well in our area. They take the "athlete" to a whole new level with exercise, dieting, and surgery and top it off with dressing like they are teenagers!
#2 Hypochondriacs...They know every single illness and medical condition by heart. And if they haven't experienced it themselves they know some intimately who has and can share every detail.
#3 The Sage.... who has experienced life in many ways and is willing to mentor or to share it with any others who will benefit. Instead of trying to be what they used to be, they embrace their age with optimism.

And like I said, I'm probably a bit of all of them at times but so far I'm not interested in being Peter Pan!

~Kathy

Barbara said...

Great share. I've a Loafer and a Dreamer. Now that my lifestyle has a recognized pattern, I feel better. I'm going to share this post.

Sue Silva said...

Loafer/Professional Gransparent. This was fun!

Unknown said...

That's a great description. Us too!

Unknown said...

That's a great description. Us too!

Unknown said...

This is fun. I am definitely a social butterfly with a touch of volunteer. Singing in our local Sweet Adeline group and volunteering at local hospital and cantoring at church plus whatever else I can do!

Mary McConnell said...

This is fun. I am definitely a social butterfly with a touch of volunteer. Singing in our local Sweet Adeline group and volunteering at local hospital and cantoring at church plus whatever else I can do!

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