Retirement Guide (also a life plan)
I was talking to a friend about retiring. He couldn’t wait to get out of the day-to-day work grind. Okay, I have to admit that I find the concept hard—I have retired once, went back to work and then quit and returned to work. it took me another 3 years to retire, and I made it.
My friend is not alone, many of the people I worked with talk about retirement and project fondly about what they would do when they retire. However, once the reality of retirement sets in, they may have to rethink their options and think again, if they have not planned properly.
It is important to consider the following when planning retirement. As a person who has worked with people involved in transitions from school to work, from work to self-employment I know the following to be true for many. Work provides money in the form of income you can count on, time management in the form of a framework for your life, and purpose in the form of getting you out of bed in the morning for something that brings meaning to your life.
As you design what's next for you, make sure you provide each of these for yourself. Many of my friends are fortunate in that they have a good retirement plan that will provide income, what they have to is create an infrastructure that will support them thrive, not merely survive, this next stage of life. In retirement along with a money plan, you should have both a time and a sense of purpose plan.
You may have a well defined financial plan but do you have a plan for how you wish to live the next twenty or thirty years of your life? Do you really want to leave your retirement life to chance and hope that you won’t be disappointed?
The “one size fits all” retirement mentality no longer fits. Whether five years away from retiring or five years into retirement, begin now exploring and choosing how you wish to live your second life.
Be as clear and detailed as possible. Your plan will be a work in progress. Reconnect with dreams you put aside for more practical considerations or perhaps dream about what you want in your life for the first time ever.
Evelyn, who spent almost 35 years as a bookkeeper was practical minded, she had not ever allowed herself to dream about her heart’s desire. That is until she had a new grandchild born with special needs. Seeing there was a gap in educational and supportive services for parents of children having special needs, Evelyn went back to school.
She now works in a community program that brings education and support to families. The families she serves love the special attention and guidance Evelyn gives. She loves the satisfaction her work brings and has no intention of retiring. So, take the lid off and get in touch with your passion and desire! Where would be your ideal place to live? What would make it ideal?
The following ideas can be used to generate a life plan, and this is dedicated to the people like myself who love work and cannot imagine retirement. As you begin this journey, I think it is important to first put yourself into a mindset where you will listen to hearts says, not what your mind tells you.
1. Create a plan; a roadmap for what you want your life to be.
How much time would you like to spend travelling? Where have you always wished to visit? How would you like to travel?
Ideally, what amount of time will be spent with family? How will you spend that time?
What are your top leisure activities? Ideally, how much of your time will you devote to leisure?
What would you do if you knew you could not fail? Come on; dust off that dream… Don’t be shy!
What does living a satisfying life mean to you? What are the essential elements, your specific “must haves”?
2. Find affordable health insurance
Balance investment need for safety and continued growth
4. Decide where to live. Once you are no longer tied to a job, you can live anywhere that suits your tastes and budget
Where would be your ideal place to live? What would make it ideal?
5. Decide if you want to keep working. A part-time job is increasingly becoming common in the retirement years.
6, Figure out what you will do with your time.
What organization, human issue, community project or problem speaks to your heart? Given your talents and skills and time, what type of commitment would be a great fit?
How would doing this support your vision for your life and your world?
Retirement isn't only about quitting your job. It's an opportunity to have complete control over how you spend your time. Some of us may miss the sense of purpose and friends that their job provided for them, while others finally have the time for hobbies and projects they have been waiting years to tackle.
Yes, I know one of the lures of retirement is not having to have a schedule. Beware, though, for therein lies one of the biggest traps of retirement. Without a framework for your days, weeks, months and years, you can slip into a deadening non-routine. I had a cousin who when he retired, told everyone that he was going to use his time to do nothing. He claimed he had worked hard all of his life and in retirement, he was going to have the luxury of doing nothing. He did that and within three years he had died.
He did not die of boredom, but he did not have a purpose and he did not keep his brain functioning, even though his wife, brothers and kids begged him to get active, he refused, he was diagnosed with dementia within a year, and died two years later. He not only did not have a time management plan, he had lost his sense of purpose.
As a now retired Career Practitioner, I understand that for many of us our career gives us a sense of purpose. We identify with what we do; our jobs give us a reason to get out of bed each day; a place to be where people are counting on us; a focus on our skills, abilities, and energy. When planning for your retirement make it a priority to find a purpose for this next stage of your life, one that ignites your passion and literally pulls you out of bed in the morning.
How happy are you with your life right now? On a scale of 1 to 10, with one being not at all happy and 10 being very happy, how does your life measure up? What belief, habit, or situation stands in your way of living in happiness and peace?
What is a 1st step you could take to start creating a happier, more peaceful life?
What are you putting off accomplishing that you know is important and would increase your peace of mind and overall well-being?