Learning How to Play Again in Retirement

By  Nick Gertsema, AIF®

My dad taught my brother and I how to throw a baseball when we were young. I can still feel the Minnesota breeze and the ball hit my glove, especially when I begged him to throw me a pop fly.

I always knew my dad was Superman – strong and cool, but seeing that pop fly finalized that for me. It flew so high and I was astonished. I hoped that someday I’d be able to throw a baseball just as high.

As we got older, my brother and I got into football more than baseball.

Our mitts and baseballs were replaced by pads and footballs. My dad adjusted to this with us and we’d practice throwing a football in the street in front of our house. He taught us how to throw a good spiral and made sure we knew how to catch it with our hands and not our bodies.

Watch it into your hands. Cradle it. Don’t snap at it.


Second Inning of Life

The years passed – as they tend to do. My brother and I moved to St. Louis to start our new lives and careers. Having each other as roommates made the transition easier and we’d still find time to throw a baseball or football around.

When our folks came out to visit, we decided to go to a local park and play catch.

We got out our gloves and spread out. One look at my dad and nostalgia washed over me. Those memories of throwing ball and feeling the Minnesota breeze hit me. I was so excited to see him throw. I wondered if he still had that cannon.

He wound up, brought the ball back and threw it directly into the ground in front of him. This had to be a mistake. Maybe he didn’t have a good grip on the ball.

He walked forward five feet, picked up the ball, reared back to throw and spiked it into the dirt in front of him again.

That’s when it dawned on me. The man who had taught me to throw a baseball forgot how to do it.

Forgetting how to play isn’t uncommon. You’re able to spend time doing the things you truly enjoy when you’re younger. Then, sometimes life gets in the way. Your focus shifts to starting a family, building a career, or whatever other adult responsibility.

And as some people reach retirement, they have forgotten how to play. The good news is that you will have time to relearn in retirement.


Hit a Home Run for Retirement

We are trained to constantly be building for that next step. Do well in school. Get a good job. Work hard. Climb the career ladder. Make a good living. Provide.

But then what? Now that you’ve done everything you were “supposed” to, the next step is yours.

You get to choose what you want to do. You get to have fun.

My dad had not thrown a baseball in a decade, and after a few errant throws, he got the hang of it again.

It’s time to start thinking about what you want to do as you approach retirement. You have control of your schedule and your only job is to do what you want to do.

If it’s been a while since you’ve done things you used to enjoy, you may have to relearn how to do them. Be patient and just enjoy the journey – after all, you don’t have to be anywhere on Monday morning.

Knowing that there is someone watching out for your best interests and monitoring your plan helps you enjoy retirement. Let us know when you get an idea of what retirement means to you.

Gertsema Wealth Advisors can help you build a retirement income plan that will enable you to focus on the important things, the things you want to do. We truly want you to have a happy retirement!

Planning for life in retirement doesn’t have to be scary. Set up a complimentary call with our financial advisors at Gertsema Wealth Advisors.


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