Weekend Reading: Don't Be Afraid of Failures in Retirement

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
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Weekend Reading

We're ingrained to avoid failure. Throughout our working years, we strive for success to meet deadlines, get promotions and advance our careers. However, upon entering retirement, the paradigm shifts.


The tapas life: When you enter your second act, the world is your oyster. You can try new things, and if you fail, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you’re interested, and you tried. In fact, you can try a variety of activities in retirement, or what the author here refers to as “tapas.” In Spain, tapas are small dishes that make up a delicious meal, but in life, they can be viewed as activities that spark your interest and create a future of fulfillment. To overcome any fear of failure, these endeavors might come with low stakes, and are purely meant for an enjoyable, enlightening experience.

The author goes on to reveal several “tapas activities” he pursued in retirement which didn’t work out as intended. Rather than feeling like a fool, he focused on the effort, and applied the knowledge he gained to other areas of life. Failure with no major negative consequences can be an unusual experience, but in your second act, it allows you to explore any and all areas of your interests.

Make the most of now: This article reminds me of my past podcast interview with Dean Niewolny and his concept of “Low-Cost Probes,” or Marianne Oehser’s interview based around having a “Happiness Portfolio.” There’s a common theme among many of my guests, which is experimentation and adventure. Grab retirement by the horns and LIVE IT!