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How Not to "Flunk" Retirement -- 5 Tips

By Gabriella Khorasanee, JD | Last updated on

We've heard about flunking school (from other people), but flunking retirement? Well, that's exactly what South Dakota-based attorney James E. "Jim" McMahon did, according to the Argus Leader, stating, "I flunked. I just flunked retirement." The ABA Journal reports that he went back to work for his old firm, though he's not working as hard as he did before retirement.

If you're like us, you're probably thinking, "what the hell?" No, this is not about having enough money to retire, this is about actually sticking to it! FindLaw is a lovely place to work, but we can't wait to retire.

Here are five tips for those of you lucky enough to think about retiring soon that will help keep you in retirement, and not running back to the office.

1. Hobbies

Now is your chance to do all the things you wish you had time to do when you were working sixty-hour weeks. Remember your affinity for photography? Go shoot some photos. Maybe you've always wanted to pick up a new hobby -- do it. Enjoy your free time to start new activities that will keep you busy and engaged.

2. Travel

Always wanted to sail on a Nile Cruise? (Um, maybe wait a bit on that one). Go on safari? See Paris? It's time to break out that list of places you've wanted to visit all your life and start checking them off. Not feeling very adventurous? That's fine, how about visiting your grandchildren across the country?

3. Volunteer

Ok, we get it. You're a type-A personality, workaholic who found retirement fun for about 10 minutes. You can still do some work, but in a less regimented way. How about taking on one pro-bono case? You'll have some work to keep you busy, though it won't take up all your time and you'll be helping someone at the same time.

4. Relax

Really. Just turn off the devices and relax. Take some time to live in the moment and take life in. Have a meaningful conversation with your spouse that doesn't revolve around what you should have for dinner. Slow down, you're out of the rat race.

5. Mentor

You have a lifetime of experience and expertise -- don't let it all go to waste. You are a walking resource and have much to offer the new crop of lawyers joining the legal field. Whether you mentor young attorneys, or volunteer at your local SCORE office, there's a lot you can do to share the wealth of knowledge you've gained.

Retirement is supposed to be fun and relaxing -- not send you running back to your law office. Think about your retirement like you did your work: try to schedule things, and continue to learn something new. With the legal market the way it is, young lawyers are counting on you to retire. Please do so, and have a great time doing it.

What are your plans for retirement? Let us know on Facebook at FindLaw for Legal Professionals.

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