Sounds a tad Shakespearean, doesn’t it? Reminds me of an old joke where it’s Shakespeare’s “To be, or not to be”, or Frank Sinatra “To be, To Be, Toooo”. Hmmm…. I think I got sidetracked there for a minute. So? Working or not working? That’s the question. And whether you’re working or not makes you…you!

There’s many a client meeting where the topic is, when can I stop working, or when do I have enough? The answer is not blowing in the wind, my friend, it’s about each of our personal wants, needs, or, you’re just simply ready to call it a day. Sometimes when making this decision about continuing to work, it is out of necessity. Your household budget still needs the income. Other times it’s answering the question of what the heck would I do all day long with myself if I didn’t have somewhere to go? Other times the answer may be a combination of several of these factors.

Over the years, I’ve gotten dozens of calls that start out with “David, I’ve been retired now for several months and I’m bored out of my mind. What do your other retired clients do to fill their time?” Some of the conversations have a lot of humor in them while other folks are making a serious inquiry.

One of my newer clients called me last year and asked this question, so I gave him a list of volunteer groups and other charity organizations that he could help with a few days a week, but that didn’t interest him. I then asked the question that I save in reserve that makes people think. “As a child, what was your passion; did you have a hobby? What was your favorite thing to do? In this case, he loved toy trains. I suggested he go down and volunteer at our local train park. You know, where we live we are lucky enough to have this park. It’s full of retired trains, kiddy rides on a small locomotive on tracks running through the park, and Pavilions to have birthday parties. It even has a train store for hobbyists. “Go down and see if they take volunteers”, I suggested.

A few months later I got a call and it was Ben asking a financial question, but he ended the call with a thank you for the great suggestion on the train park. Not only did he volunteer, he now works part-time and actually gets paid to do something he loves. He rediscovered his passion. Another client loved her bicycle and got a part-time job at a bike shop. Another client loved sewing as a child and went to work at a hobby store in the cloth and sewing supplies department. Point is, they found something they enjoyed doing, and not just to make a paycheck.

So, to work or not to work is a personal decision and maybe an opportunity to rediscover your long-lost passion from your childhood. And maybe it might be just part-time, or a few days a week, but it gives you something to do. So, what was your passion? Is it time for you to volunteer? Whatever your decision it will make you…, you!

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