Phased Retirement: Defining Insanity

A commonly heard definition of insanity is attributed to Albert Einstein.  That is, “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

The first thing that comes to mind for me is the Minnesota Vikings trying to establish their running game.

The second thing that comes to mind, since I’m a contrarian, is “Is that really accurate? Do I agree?”

Far be it from me to critique Einstein, but it seems there are areas where it’s very sane to take this approach.  Running the same scientific experiments or medical tests over and over again, adhering to a checklist, taking care to control the environment, can generate different results given the complexity.  While a scientist or physician may not ‘expect’ a different result they should certainly be open to it.

Similarly, retirement isn’t an assembly line proposition.  Certainly, you should ask questions of your financial, legal and tax advisors.  You should also ask others who’ve retired or are in the process of retiring about their experiences with healthcare, living arrangements, hobbies, and so forth.

But your experience will be a unique set of results.  You can try to copy someone else’s approach (i.e. doing the same thing over and over…) but your results won’t be the same.  They’ll be different and you have to make the decisions on the outcomes that will work best for you.

Let’s stay sane out there.

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