For years, Betsy and Rick had dreamed of driving an RV cross-country once they both retired. They envisioned spending several months exploring national parks, cities they had never seen, and visiting friends and family who lived in other states. They even mapped out a tentative route and spent hours planning. But when retirement finally came, the cross-country trip seemed to hold less appeal than it once did.

“We drove 15 hours to go on a vacation, to celebrate our retirement,” Rick said. “And we found we really didn’t like driving so far. It was exhausting and stressful. It made us rethink all of our plans!”

Betsy had also discovered that as much as she had looked forward to retirement, she soon felt restless and bored. “I can’t believe I would ever say this, but I miss working. I might start volunteering somewhere or maybe find a part-time job to get me out of the house.”

The fact is, our goals and priorities and ‘pursuit of happiness’ change as we age. Some people who dread retirement find they absolutely love it; others who could not wait to stop working realize that they felt happier when they had a busy schedule and constant interaction with their colleagues. Retirement is a major life change that can leave many older adults questioning who they are and how they want to spend the rest of their lives.

“We decided to scrap the cross-country trip and just fly to wherever we want to go,” Rick said. “It was fun to think about it and plan for it all those years, but this makes more sense to us now at this point in our lives.”

Family and health issues can also make us rethink our priorities.

“Once we stopped working, we were going to sell our house and move to a warmer climate,” said one of my clients named John. “But our kids and their families live near us and we love spending time with our grandkids. Moving away would mean we would see them a lot less. Plus, quite frankly my wife is getting treatment for some health issues, and we think it’s important for us to stay here where we know the doctors.”

The things we want to do in our 50s and 60s are likely to change as we get older, and it is perfectly fine to re-evaluate our goals. Life is a journey that is seldom predictable, and it is never too late to switch gears, no matter how old you are.

If you or someone in your family are facing aging challenges, please give us a call at 850-894-6720 or email us at We’ll be happy to assist!