Doing Nothing – How Procrastination Almost Ruined My Retirement and How I Got It Back on Track

Yahoo! I was retired! If you’ve been there, you know exactly where I’m coming from. 

Retirement is something you hear so much about – how you’ll finally be in charge, how you’ll answer to no one but yourself, how it will let you live out the rest of your life on your terms.

Well, that was me.

Enjoying The Spoils

I had worked my tail off at a federal government job for 31 years, and so by the time retirement came, I was ready to enjoy all the perks that had been talked about time and time again.

Except, by the time you get there, you still find yourself confined by the system.

Well, that’s the case when you retire from any job, whether it be a firefighter, teacher, union trade, cop, soldier, federal agent, town clerk, you name it.

Unless you want to blow your entire savings, you’re still locked into the system with no way out.

That’s why I wanted to start up a consulting gig.

I had learned a whole lot working for the IRS; now, I figured, it was time to share the wealth and earn some at the same time.

Except, when I started to actually set things up, I ran into a barrier of self-doubt and uncertainty the likes of which I had never experienced. To this point, I had done well for myself by following the book. Now, I would have to create my own or just settle for mediocrity.

Meantime, I had big plans for my wife and I – plans that were not going to come to fruition unless and until I was able to execute this next chapter.

But I had second thoughts: Was this really the right thing to do? Should I just settle for what I had and not bother pursuing anything further?

I knew I had to figure it out, and soon. Laws change; I knew I would only be any good to anyone if I did this sooner rather than later.

This goes for anyone thinking of dipping their toe back into their old industry after retirement. Whether you want to get a specialized gig in teaching, law enforcement, accounting, you name it, the longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to get your name out there as someone who knows the ropes and can help people.

Dwindling Options

Starting up my own business had sounded great over the dining room table when I explained it to my wife, but actually dotting the I’s, crossing the T’s, and executing the plan was way scarier than I had imagined.

Right now, I was set. All my post-retirement money was flowing into my bank account just like it should. But if I rocked the boat, all that went out the window. I would no longer qualify for social security and even some medical insurance that was a given if I just let things ride.

So, that’s what I found myself doing. Weeks turned into months turned into a year and a half, and our plans were still in limbo. The only one who could move them forward was me. Prices for everything kept climbing, and before I knew it, our plans had gone from sure things to something that was floating away from us as I sat there.

Get Real

Meanwhile, my wife, a retired nurse, was wondering whether I was all talk and no action. It didn’t help that I had displayed this trait every once in a while in the past. “Oh, we’re going to be able to afford this nice vacation home…” On second thought, never mind, it turns out that actually making it happen was beyond what I could do.

“Oh, we’ve got the inside track…” Well, maybe that opportunity dried up before I could make it happen.

I was determined that with our retirement, I would not follow the same disappointing pattern. However, the task remained to get from the optimistic drawing board to the real-world result. That’s when she shoved this website in front of my face.

My Better Half

Turns out, she knew me at least as well as I knew myself. She had come across a website that asked probing life questions, and she had gone ahead and answered them from my perspective.

Upon doing so, it presented her with a plan that would allow someone who was in my position the ability to overcome what was holding them back and pursue their goals without any excuses getting in the way. She even went ahead and enrolled me in this plan, before telling me in no uncertain terms that I would follow it to its conclusion, or else.

So, that’s exactly what I did. Over the span of three months, I came face to face with the mindset that was holding me back, was forced to acknowledge that this was why I had been unable to translate thoughts and intentions into actions, and eventually developed a new way of thinking that allowed me to overcome my penchant for procrastination and move forward.

It’s not easy. It’s not fun. It forces you to come face to face with your own failings. But in the end, it allowed me to rewire my routine into a mindset that set me up for success rather than one that would perpetuate the same old setbacks which would inevitably lead to failure.

Your post-retirement gameplan is your last chance to achieve what you (and perhaps your better half) want out of life. You owe it to yourself to ensure that it does not fail. Click to take your own survey, and finally, unequivocally, allow yourself to thrive!

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