Top 5 Dreams of Workers Planning Retirement
Forget all that hooey about workers dreamingly longingly of second careers in retirement, pursuing the businesses they always wanted to run and working for satisfaction other than a paycheck.
According to the 16th annual Transamerica Retirement Survey from Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, the great majority of workers have other dreams for retirement than work, no matter how rewarding it might be.
Other studies might find that some folks have been cherishing ambitions for their own businesses or for the opportunity to follow that off-the-beaten-career-path profession.
Yet most are simply longing for the freedom just to indulge lifelong passions that have nothing to do with work.
Here’s a look at the five nonwork ambitions most cited by respondents in the Transamerica survey.
Hmm… makes one contemplate margaritas on a sun-drenched beach…
Whether it’s to Margaritaville or Cabo San Lucas, Glocca Mora, or Middle Earth, 42 percent of respondents said they wanted to get away from it all once they retire. A worthy goal, considering how many faraway places with strange-sounding names there are to visit.
What their answers don’t record is how financially prepared they’ll be to travel.
Will they be staying at five-star hotels, or going the hostel route? Going by land, sea, or air? Making quick trips, or months-long journeys to immerse themselves in other cultures?
What destinations are on your bucket list?
2. Spending more time with family and friends.
The old saw says you never wish on your deathbed that you spent more time in the office—and people’s chief regrets can often involve those missed moments and milestones in others’ lives: birthdays, anniversaries, championship softball games, a child’s (or grandchild’s) first steps or words.
And that’s apparently on the minds of 21% of respondents, who are looking forward to using all that extra time in retirement to catch up on lost time with those they care most about.
The good thing about it is that even if they’re a trifle short on retirement savings, it’s a goal that can still be achieved.
3. Pursuing hobbies.
Okay, so maybe you’ll never be a Cordon Bleu chef or win a Tony Award because your portrayal of Don Quixote was in the local Little Theater production of Man of La Mancha.
But that doesn’t mean that you haven’t cherished ambitions of accolades for your efforts, whether gourmet or grandiose.
Fifteen percent of respondents are looking forward to the day when they can sit at home and build model railroads, cultivate a moon garden or paint a portrait of the person they love best—and they’re not ashamed to say so.
Maybe they’ll even say so in a new language that they’ll finally have time to learn.
4. Doing volunteer work.
Well, it may say “work,” but it’s highly unlikely that it closely resembles what one does in the office at present.
Look at former President Jimmy Carter, who’s volunteered to build houses for Habitat for Humanity not just in the U.S. but globally.
And the numerous individuals—perhaps among the people you know—who work at food banks, help out at animal shelters or go out and clean up the litter on the beaches so that marine-dependent creatures won’t be harmed by bottle caps and pop tops (and more sinister detritus).
Four percent of respondents are planning to indulge their higher natures in doing good somewhere, somehow, once they leave the workplace behind.
5. None of the above.
Maybe surprisingly, more people have said this than the group that plans to volunteer—or than those who plan to work at another job or start a business.
Whether they have specific ambitions that they don’t want to voice or they simply haven’t thought about what they might do—or want to do—once they’re away from the nine-to-five grind, they’re not planning on work.
Who knows—maybe their ambitions don’t extend farther than the easy chair in the den, a few good books, a leisurely walk with the dog, and a nice nap in the afternoon.