I’m Dr. Roger Hall and this is Roger’s 2 Cents.

In this video series, I answer questions that people have sent me. And I open the envelope on camera. I answer the question without knowing what I’m going to say. You’ll see it unedited and uncensored. And if it’s really good, you’ll see it. And if it’s really awful, it’ll never make the light of day. I’ll just delete the file. So here I’m going to see what somebody has asked me.

I’d like Roger’s 2 cents on this question. “Your Comments on this phrase: You can’t retire from something. You have to retire to something.”

I couldn’t agree more. You can’t retire from something. You have to retire to something.

As baby boomers age, we’re seeing an enormous lump of people enter into retirement in this next 10 to 20 years. And these people, the ones I feel most sorry for, are the ones who are counting down their days to retirement. You know, I’ve only got, you know, 1,432 days until I retire. Those people I feel bad for. And the reason I feel bad for them is that we’ve been sold a lie, that retirement is a great thing to sit around and recreate for the rest of our lives. Well, if you retire at 65, your life expectancy is somewhere between 25 and 30 years and 25 to 30 years of doing nothing is a really, really bad way to spend your life.

Human beings were not built just for recreation. If you go to Disney every day, eventually you get bored. If you eat caviar every day, eventually it’s just fish eggs. And so what I’d encourage you to do is figure out what are human beings built for? Well, what we’re built for is work. And I don’t mean toil, and I don’t mean drudgery. I mean work.

And the way I define work is solving a challenging problem in your domain of expertise. And there’s been research by a guy whose name Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. And you can look him up on Google, just Google him, M, I, H, A, L, Y, and it’ll auto complete the rest of his name. But Csikszentmihalyi. He did research on a thing he called “Flow” and he studied people who lost themselves in a task. And what he found is that people who lose themselves in a task and lose a sense of time, they’re in the zone or they’re experiencing flow and people experience flow most often solving a challenging problem in their domain of expertise. And where does that happen? Well, usually at work.

And so, if you are planning to retire, you darn well better figure out what you’re going to do. That has purpose that has meaning, that is a challenging problem that you can solve every day or almost every day because Csikszentmihalyi in his work suggests that if you do this and experience “flow”, being in the zone every day or nearly every day, you’re happier than those who don’t. So I strongly encourage you as you’re planning your retirement, figure out what you want to do for the next 25 or 30 years that is productive, has purpose, that is fun, and helps you solve a challenging problem in your domain of expertise every day or nearly every day.

And that’s Roger’s 2 Cents.