Lets be clear up front: Taoism has a different approach to teaching retirement. Retirement is not a statement of financial security. Instead Taoism teaches us to retire to a lifestyle of embracing your essence.
A simple truth is that you can retire before 50. Also mid life transformation is a process you can harness to help you retire into a better life. Retirement represents a time of life to release from the main worker bee grind. For most of us retirement does represent a shifting of jobs but more importantly retirement also includes working with new activities to keep a healthy balanced lifestyle. The keyword is “Lifestyle”. From this process you will discover retirement is actually all about lifestyle and most importantly learning how to create a lifestyle that you can enjoy, thrive within and use to expand yourself.
Now the biggest problem is: modern society doesn’t teach people how to retire in grace. Modern society has life divided into two halves: before retirement and after retirement. Splitting life into two distinct halves creates an unbalanced lifestyle. In fact, this approach makes the second half of life a downhill slide into death itself.
Add in the additional problem that society teaches people to give it a 110%, a 125%, to give it our all. The sad truth is: To give it your all, for 65 years… means to be assured of ending up spent out and broken. All too many enter retirement broken, discovering they can’t leave a job, because of needing health insurance to take care of their broken body or needing to make more cash to make up shortfalls.
It’s not possible to retire if you break yourself before you even reach retirement.
Sadly all too many following a drum beat of social pressures, obligations and false assumptions won’t make it to retirement in a manner that will lead to a graceful lifestyle. Ask yourself: how does modern society treat older people? Nine out of ten people I ask this question to will respond that modern society throws away older people, pushes them to the side. Modern society literally does use up and then throws away its older people. Do you want to retire into a trash heap? You can save up all the money you want, but if you are broken by time you retire, all the money in the world won’t improve your lifestyle or life. Likewise, if your community or surroundings are broken around you, then again retirement isn’t going to be a graceful experience.
The reality is humans don’t live through two halves; rather humans live thru three distinct phases. The first phase runs to roughly 40 years old is when a person is active in society and raising family. The 2nd phase starts around 40 where a person begins to shift (mid life transformation) to become their own person and takes the time to explore their own desires. The last phase starts ideally when a person is in their 80’s and is exploring spirit and legacy.
Modern Society compresses the more natural human lifestyle into two phases: working til 65 and then spending roughly the last 7 years sorting out your legacy. The modern version leaves much to be desired and removes out the entire middle 40 years of being your own person!
Modern culture forces people to be average, to shoot for only 72 or less years of life. Sadly culture in pushing people too hard, by tricking them into living an average lifestyle… ensures most people only do live shorter lives.
Taoism teaches anyone can be exceptional
We all can live to a lifestyle that should support 120 years.
(Well technically really 114 years, but we round up to 120 years since we are optimists in Taoism!)
The truth is to live to an average lifestyle is to rob yourself of 40 or more years of an exceptional life to explore.
From a Taoist perspective a person can retire before 50, in order to live and embrace a full 40 years of the 2nd third of life. The reality is the 2nd third of life represents a rich, healthily robust, 40 years of being in your prime! Then within the last third life, 80 to your final years, is a sublime exploration of what you are in terms of spirit, taking time to polish up and refine any legacy you would like to leave behind.
The sad conclusion is: modern consumer society steals away most of person’s 2nd third of life and just bum rushes a person into to their last part of life as a spent out worker.
It’s time to change retirement: it’s time to learn how to retire into your life so you can explore and live within a rich and robust lifestyle.