The Lifestyle Tug of War

The origin of Tug of War is unknown, but versions and variations have been noted in a variety of cultures. When we think of Tug of War, we imagine two opposing sides pulling the same rope in opposite directions. It is a battle of will and strength.

The same can be applied to your attitude to retirement. A tug of war is playing out between your professional and personal sides of life. It can be a battle of wills – internally and externally. You don’t have to play the game. Consider the financial, emotional, and lifestyle evaluations you can make now, that will bring clarity to life 60 plus.


To start to ease the tension, you must get your financial house in order. I get messages from people saying because they made bad financial decisions earlier in life, it means they might never be able to retire. They are not alone.

According to the National Council on Aging, “80% of households with older adults—or 47 million of such households (in the United States)—are financially struggling today or are at risk of falling into economic insecurity as they age.”

CBS News reports, “About 27% of people who are 59 or older have no retirement savings, according to a new survey from financial services firm Credit Karma.”

You must get rid of the might or get an actual qualitative answer. Whether you need to start with your local bank or financial advisor, get professional help. Let licensed and certified specialists help you get on a pathway of predictability.

Retirement and Career Mindsets

If you have the resources (or are on track to have them), the decision of whether or not to retire is a big one, and it’s not one that should be taken lightly. There are many factors to consider, besides your financial situation. Review your health, your hobbies and interests, and your social circle.

Participants in the Retirement Time Analysis answer a variety of scenarios around their feelings about career and then retirement. In most cases, these mindsets are in a tug of war.

  • Career is one of the most fulfilling things in their life. However, they see retirement to escape the rat race.
  • Work brings purpose and meaning, but post-career life brings personal opportunities.
  • A professional occupation brings diverse social interactions, but not having to work allows for deepening relationships with family and friends.

Make Peace with the Mindsets

To reconcile these two mindsets and end the tug of war requires an investment in planning.

  • Determine how much work, the type, and for how long.
  • Establish a life purpose statement.
  • Create a bucket-list that includes all the amazing things you would like to accomplish.
  • Translate that into long-term and annual goals.
  • Plan out a month without work. Challenge yourself to fill your awake time with 100% personal pursuits.

Work on these and the game of emotional tug of war will end.

For some people, retirement is a dream come true. They can finally relax and enjoy their free time without having to worry about work. They can travel, spend time with their grandchildren, or pursue their hobbies.

For others, retirement can be a daunting prospect. They may worry about running out of money, or they may miss the structure and routine of their work. They may also feel like they’re losing their identity or their sense of purpose.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of whether or not to retire. The best decision for you will depend on your individual circumstances. Quite the internal tug of war by addressing your financial situation and reconciling the mindset you have about career and retirement.

Learn more about the lifestyle possibilities of your future self.

Individuals and couples take the Retirement Time Analysis for free…here.

Financial Professionals learn more about the Infinity Lifestyle Design program…here.

Individuals and couples learn more about the Infinity Lifestyle Design program…here.

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