My Latest Retirement Tour: Advice That Could Change Your Life

Published in Sixty and Me

Cher and I have one thing in common when it comes to retirement. Along with other rock groups like “The Who,” Cher and I have had several final farewell, retirement tours. I’m on my latest, and maybe not last retirement tour. Just like Cher. We’ve still got mileage.

As long as I can still do a headstand at 72, I’m good to keep on touring. Some rockers don’t even have a great set of pipes left. At least I still have the strength to do a headstand.

I’m guessing that most of you in your 60s think retirement is in your future. And I’m betting that most of you still in the work force know the exact year, month, day, and hour your social security kicks in.

Let’s put the breaks on that retirement option right now. You are not going to retire from life, or disappear into the woodwork, or withdraw from society, or watch paint peel off the walls and then get ready to die? Not going to happen.

Walter Cronkite called retirement “statutory senility.” And Cher and I refuse to have any part of that. And you don’t have to either.

You need a new way of thinking about what I call our Act 3. From personal experience, I know that my age – 71 years old – is the most exciting time of life.

What’s great about retirement tours are that they explore new and different ways to grow older, which require new and different approaches to living life to the fullest. The various incarnations of Act 3 is not about what happens to you but about what you do with what happens to you. It ‘s about making choices that strengthens your well-being and help you realize your dreams and passions, which leads to greater happiness.

Today, you have more options and opportunities to create the life you deserve than you could ever possibly imagine. That’s why I keep touring. I recently drove from Los Angeles to Austin to take up a new life. Now that’s going on a real tour!

Remember when your parents retired? It seems like an ancient ritual about now. That was old school thinking. They sat in front of the TV most nights, went to bingo Saturday nights or played cards with friends. Improving Dad’s golf game was important. And Mom could never get dad to travel. Since they did little exercise, they had more health problems, and they died earlier than they should. That’s not you!

I want to respectfully encourage you to set aside the old clichéd ideas about retirement and consider taking a more meaningful journey during your 60s and for the rest of your life. Start by creating a new paradigm of how you want to live your life – not grow older. It drives me crazy when people say they are going to retire because it’s not applicable or relevant in the 21st century. There is so much to explore, so many new and creative activities to embrace.

There is support to substantiate reframing age: an AARP trends survey reported that Baby Boomers – all 76 million – are going to lead the way in how we age. Ken Dychtwald, the famous gerontologist, calls this movement the age of transformation. Baby Boomers are smart and productive. You have learned how to balance your hopes and aspirations with a renewed sense of purpose. And you are definitely going to live longer because there is a new sense of freedom knocking at your door.

Maya Angelou, famous poet and author, said on the occasion of her 70th plus birthday: “I’ve learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life.” You’ve all made a living, but have you all made a life? Work is not everything because living creativity is what provides meaning and context to you life.

Think of your life as a 3-act play. Acts 1 & 2 are the formative years – work and family. These early and middle years are the prelude for the best act of the play. And that’s your Act 3.

I want to challenge you to create the most awesome retirement tour imaginable. I want you to have the most amazing time in your life right now. Stay present and dance as if no one is watching. Keep the retirement tour going. Learn to do a headstand, find your passions and be grateful for all your gifts and blessings.

Joan Moran is a keynote speaker, commanding the stage with her delightful humor, raw energy, and wealth of life experiences. She is an expert on wellness and is passionate about addressing the problems of mental inertia. A yoga instructor who dances Argentine tango, Joan is the author is “Sixty, Sex, & Tango, Confessions of a Beatnik Boomer.” Her latest book, I’m The Boss of Me! Stay Sexy, Smart $ Strong At Any Age, is now available on Amazon.

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