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En Francais SVP

Let’s get back to another goal shall we?

Getting ready for retirement means getting ready to live out our third act of life. And my hope is that Lorraine and I will enjoy a wonderful life during our golden years.

Our coach will be a big part of that life.

Having goals will also be a big part of that life.

I have been working on them over the past little while. I have talked about my cycling goals here and my music goals here.

2 goals down.

28 more to go.

Here is a third goal: during my first two years of retirement I will relearn my conversational French. And, to celebrate, Lorraine and I will take a trip to Paris at the end of that two year period. Assuming, of course, that I can speak French really, really well at that point.

Nothing like a bit of incentive.

When I was 15 years old, I did a French studies program through the Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal. I had the opportunity to travel to France and become immersed in the culture and the language. I have wonderful memories of Bandol and Ile de Bendor, beautiful spots in the Cote d’Azur, where I lived and studied.

I still have my notes from when I studied there. And all I can say is that at one time I had an incredible command of the French language.

Having spent 40 years in a predominantly anglophone environment has taken its toll.

3 goals down.

27 more to go.

All Play and No Work

goals

That seems to be the dream, doesn’t it? Retirement is pitched as that time in life when you finally get to do whatever it is you want to do. All play and no work.

I somehow doubt that our retirement experience will wind up that way. It is simply another stage of life where we have more control over our time. That allocation of time dedicated to work, which, for me, is about 50 or 60 hours a week, opens up.

Spending that time doing, well, nothing, does not seem very appealing.

I’m not sure how Lorraine is intending to go about her exercise in terms of defining her thirty goals in retirement but this is my approach, or rather, my framework for setting out some goals in retirement. For each of these five areas, I will build out my goals.

1. Family and Community

The goals in this area will take into account my desire to continue to build and nurture my relationships with my loved ones as well as giving back to my community. As we expect to be doing a lot of traveling in our coach, this will be an area of particular focus. We may be separated by location however we do not want to be isolated by location.

2. Well-being

Maintaining good physical and emotional health during retirement will be key to enjoying retirement. I have generally been disciplined over the years with respect to eating and exercise although every so often I encounter setbacks. My sense is that it might be too easy to indulge in rest and relaxation with a negative impact on overall health and the ability to enjoy these golden years. I have also been in a high stress career and learning how to take things easier will undoubtedly prove challenging.

3. Personal Development

Throughout my life I have been an active learner and retirement provides an awesome opportunity to learn and develop skills. My focus will likely fall into two areas where I have a strong passion: music, photography. There are many other areas that I would like to explore during retirement.

4. Finances

Even though we will have enough financial resources during retirement, I will need to look at how I intend to be a responsible steward. Roughly 70% of our income during retirement is stable, that is, not subject to stock market volatility. The balance will come from my investments. Becoming a strong money manager and a better investor will be an important part of being retired.

5. Faith

Faith and ministry have been fundamental to my life and I could not enter my retirement years without ensuring that I remain true to my mission and values as well as my service as a disciple.

This framework is what I will use to develop my goals. And I know that my goals will not necessarily be Lorraine’s goals. Lorraine will build her list. And then we will compare notes and talk about our goals together as a couple.