Most people spend their lives building a financial plan in order to have the dream of a fulfilling retirement. But too often preparation stops there. As their working days dwindle, the biggest concerns looming over the hearts and minds of many soon-to-be retirees has nothing to do with money.
Questions swirl through their minds. What will life be like after retirement? What will I do every day? What if I’m bored or get depressed? What if I hate retirement?
George Kinder who has been espousing and refining life-planning programs with clients for several decades, suggests that those considering retirement should ask themselves:
“Who do I want to be? What have I missed? Who did I not get to be?”
He then encourages them to enter their “golden years” with the realization that this time is “an incredible opportunity to have all of these things in front of you.”
These strategies will help you get the “living” side of retirement in order.
- Consider what you enjoyed most about working
Maybe it was the people or the gratification of completing a project. Could be you thrived on the structure of a detailed schedule. Many people derive satisfaction from meeting the needs of their clientele.
Once you’ve pinpointed this aspect, consider other places or opportunities where this component could be fulfilled. Many non-profit organizations could benefit from marketing, writing, organizational and a plethora of other skills perfected over the lifetime of a career. If you miss helping others or simply miss being around people, the residents of a local nursing home would certainly be happy for some conversation and attention.
- Ease into retirement.
Take small steps to prepare yourself by “practicing” ahead of time. If you plan to move, visit the new location as often as possible. Check out leisure, entertainment and art opportunities as well as associations or interests that you’re involved in currently.
Many folks plan to travel after retirement, maybe because working leaves little time to do it now. So, then take a couple of longs weekends to get a feel for how you and your spouse will do on extended trips.
If you plan to get more involved in a hobby, take purposeful steps in that direction before you close the door on your working days.
- Be realistic.
If you’ve worked 50-60 hours a week for 30-40 years, full retirement may be too great of a shock to your system! Consider becoming a “lite” version of yourself for, say, six months or so. Maybe remain on as a consultant or a resource person for the next project or two. Spend some time mentoring your replacement or another employee in the department. Anything even somewhat career-focused can help to bridge the gap.
Next week we’ll tackle the financial preparations needed to enjoy your “dream” retirement.
If you’re considering a seasonal, temp, or part-time position as a way to ease into retirement, B. Loehr Staffing has many such opportunities. Contact one of our staffing specialists to see how your lifetime of skills can translate into a transition opportunity.