Ok, let’s see by a show of hands, how many of you know someone who has retired and after a while found that it just didn’t live up to expectations? Now, how many of you have watched that person(s) spiral down to being glued to the tv all day and often complaining of feeling useless, bored, and even depressed?
Yeah, that’s too many.
Of course, many people do adjust quite easily to being retired. In fact, I’ve heard some people say retirement is simply one of life’s transitions, like starting a new job/getting married/becoming a parent/divorcing/becoming an empty nester and so on. But the transition from a daily job to retirement is actually quite different. When you stop working full time:
You will need a new identity
You will have all day every day to fill
You will long for a purpose, a reason to get up in the morning
You will wish you had planned ahead regarding how to spend this new-found free time.
Welcome to my monthly column for the Observer, “LET’S TALK RETIREMENT, because it’s not just about the money,” written especially for you. Some of you may be thinking, “I don’t have to read this because Retirement is far into my future.”
Let me say that regardless of where you are in your career, I urge you to take a few minutes to read on. In this column, I’ll be sharing some of my coaching secrets, the ‘tricks of the trade,’ if you will, for you to adopt now so that you can plan for THE NON-FINANCIAL side of retirement as well as enjoy yourself more as you build your career.
If you don’t start early, it’s really a good idea to focus on the road ahead when you are 5-10 years away from leaving the workforce. Of course, if you’ve already retired (and even though you’ll wish you had started earlier!), the tools will offer a way to get back on track after the honeymoon of “no schedule” and “doing what I want to do” is over.
I won’t talk about your 401K or your financial advisor or even your bank balance, except to say that planning for that side of retirement should not be neglected. However, when it comes to the non-financial aspects of retirement, I will firmly say planning for that side should not be neglected because,… it’s not just about the money!
For a little fun, I decided to launch this column by sharing with you challenges from some clients I’ve encountered as a retirement coach. Here, in letter form, are a couple of examples that may or may not be real:
First let me say that I’m smart, good looking and fun to be with. I usually have all the answers. Let’s just say you can “see” me in the C-suite.
But this time I’m a little stumped. Since I’ve heard you are all about retirement, maybe you can help. When should I do it? How should I do it? What if I make a mistake? (BTW, I rarely make mistakes)
Sometimes My Britches Are Tight
Thanks for your note. Let me just say that I’m glad you contacted me. I don’t have the answers, but I’ll bet you do. To answer the “when?” first ask yourself “why?” Why do you want to retire? You don’t mention how old you are or if you like your job.
People really do know what is right for themselves. Think carefully about the questions, “Who am I now” and “What do I want?” We can talk about it. Those questions will bring you closer to your answers and help your pants fit a lot better.
My wife and I are on different pages when picturing retirement. She thinks I’m going to work in the garden and sing in the local choir. I hate dirt and I’d much rather listen to Toby Keith and Queen. In fact, I like to play the guitar and would love the challenge of a half marathon.
How to let her know without hurting her feelings and hearing, ‘happy wife, happy life’?
I May Have to Work Forever
No, you won’t have to keep working. The answer is simple. Sit down and have a conversation with your partner and remind her of the quote, “Happy guy tells no lie.” Come up with an actual plan for your interest in music in retirement and start working on a song for her.
Thanks for joining me as you navigate your journey towards retirement. If you have retirement questions, please send me a note c/or The Observer Editor, Barbara Dab, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise, I look forward to sharing some important tools with you to help you plan ahead for a successful retirement.
Consider this discussion:
https://www.coachingwithloretta.com/accomplish-coaching-blog/youve-decided-to-retire “I Hear You Just Retired.
So, …, what will you do now?”
Some people facing retirement say:
“Ah, – time to do what I want, when I want.”
“I’m going to get up late and enjoy my coffee and the newspaper.”
“Travel! I am going to travel!”
“Well, I’ll probably start another company or get a paying job.”
All these may sound great and interesting – on the surface. But let’s look at them more carefully.
“Ah, time to do what I want when I want.” Ok, but what do you want? And in what order do you want it? There may be a lot of choices and a lot of opportunities for you and your time. Thinking about it and planning ahead can make a huge difference and help avoid disappointment.
“I’m going to get up late and enjoy my coffee and the newspaper.” Ok, so assuming you don’t sleep later than 8:00, that brings us to around 10 a.m. Good for you! You are caught up on what is happening in the world. Now what? (And, by the way, if you’re only having coffee and you use a Keurig, you will be done by 9:30!)
“Travel! I am going to travel!” Yes! Plan those trips to your dream cities. And go. But remember, travel is getting harder and harder. Planes are cancelled; security causes long lines; prices are through the roof. And what if your knee starts hurting again? Just like you spend time planning the details of a trip, you need to have a plan for all those other weeks when you are not traveling!
“Well, I’ll probably start another company or get another job.” But wait, why did you retire in the first place? Will you make sure that you won’t face the difficulties and stressors that made you leave?
Don’t get me wrong – any of these are a good starting point for some real thinking and self-assessment. Start early to create the kind of retirement where YOU are in control and make smart choices that allow you to find peace and fulfillment.
Use the same effort you put towards creating your financial “nest egg” to come up with a plan for your Retirement. After all, 65 is the new 50!
“Travel! I am going to travel!” Yes! Plan those trips to your dream cities. And go. But remember, travel is getting harder and harder. Sometimes planes are cancelled; security checks can cause long lines; you may find that prices are through the roof. We all know these things can be tolerated and even accepted, if you have a PLAN.
And just like those plans you make for your trip – how many cities? Cruise or driving tour? How many days? You need to have a plan for your retirement weeks – when you are not travelling!
Yeah, I’m a widow and I’m retiring in January. My kids are wanting me to move near them. I like my life where I am. I can come and go as I please – especially with the ladies. How do I gently tell them that their Dad still has a lot of livin’ to do?
I May be Retired but I’m Still Alive
Dear Still Alive,
Simply speaking, telling the truth is the way to handle your kids. Tell them that you have built a life where you live. Explain that just because you’ve stopped working, it does not mean you give up your friends and your freedom.
Be careful with those ladies. Have you thought about a vasectomy?