After years of hard work, retirement is a good reward. It’s something everyone looks forward to: a chance to relax, pursue hobbies that you’ve never found time for, or travel. Retirement isn’t the end, but rather the beginning of a new chapter. But how do you adequately prepare for this new season of life? We’ve gathered some practical retirement strategies from retirement life coaches and other experts to help you on your journey.
Create a Plan
Joanne Waldman has over 30 years of experience in career development, coaching and retirement. She is a counselor, author and coach. Waldman currently works as the Director of Training for Retirement Options, a company that provides retirement coaching and planning.
Waldman highly recommends creating a plan before you retire.
It has been said that people plan more for a vacation than their retirement. Don’t act like it is not going to happen. Consider what you want to do in your retirement. About 70% of individuals want to continue working in retirement in some capacity, but many do not want to do what they have been doing the last 20 or 30 years. In many instances those individuals want to find work that speaks to their heart that gives back in some fashion. What is meaningful for you and how can you find work that meets that criteria?
If you are planning on moving, Waldman suggesting asking yourself a series of questions to determine where you should live:
- Where would you like to live in your retirement?
- What is important for where you live?
- Do you want to live near water or the mountains?
- Do you want to be snowbirds?
- Do you want to live near your children and grandchildren?
- Is it important to have excellent medical, educational facilities nearby, or to be close to an airport?
- What arrangements do you want to have in place around where you live as you age in retirement?
Retirement planning can be overwhelming. Working with a professional retirement coach can help take the load off you and know that you are well-prepared.
Follow Your Passion
Motivational speaker and life coach Bershan Shaw is truly a warrior. After beating breast cancer once, it returned and Shaw’s doctors gave her six to nine months to live. Shaw chose to fight it and overcame. Seven years later, she is still cancer free. Shaw started URAWarrior.com to help others through difficult times in life.
Shaw believes that life can truly begin at retirement.
Embrace retirement as a new beginning not as they are getting old and their job is finished. This is the second half of their life and one must enjoy it. Do the things you have always wanted to do. Take that class. Buy that house. Drive that new car. Travel the world.
Bershan tells her clients who are preparing to retire that it’s a great time to reinvent themselves.
If you want to work in another field doing something more passionate then try it like painting, dancing, or writing. Or if you want to just relax because you have given your work over twenty years, just relax. Don’t judge what you are doing. Whatever makes you happy do it.
Think about what you always wanted to do when you were a child. If you never got to do it and would still like to, pursue it. Now is the time.
Cynthia Sue Larson is a best-selling author and transformational speaker on topics of science, spirituality and consciousness. Larson earned her MBA and Doctor of Divinity, and has appeared on BBC, Discovery Channel and more.
When it comes to being well-adjusted to retirement, Larson says to make sure to stay active.
Those who adjust most smoothly to retirement typically stay active with some kind of regular physical activity, as well as regular social activities and some kind of intellectual pursuit or hobbies. Those who adjust well have a sense of purposefulness to their lives, and enjoy being of service in some fashion–by doing some kind of volunteer work, caring for their grandchildren, or simply being supportive to friends and neighbors.
Being physically active as well as mentally doing what you love will give you something to look forward to each day and keep a sense of accomplishment.
Be On The Same Page As Your Partner
Life Coach and author Dorian Mintzer is passionate about preparing people for retirement. Her website, Revolutionize Retirement offers people 45 and older, a vibrant online community. In her collaborated book Couple’s Retirement Puzzle, Mintzer goes through 10 conversations couples should have before retiring.
Mintzer says you can avoid a lot of heartache if you just talk.
A big mistake people make if you’re in a relationship, is not talking together about your changing expectations of each other and expectations regarding time together and alone. Work provides a structure and time together and apart. You and your partner may be assuming and/or expecting different things. Sometimes people feel surprised that it’s difficult to adjust to both being around the house more and find they get on each other’s nerves and/or disappoint each other.
Planning together can be fun and bring you closer as a couple.
It’s important to talk with the significant others in your life and clarify expectations, assumptions and hopes and dreams. Encourage your significant other to think through what’s important to them. You then have an opportunity to create a “shared vision” of goals, hopes and dreams for the years ahead—together and/or separately.
Creating a shared vision will make the transition much smoother for you, your significant other and your whole family.
More than 1/3 of American adults say they haven’t started saving for retirement yet, according to Bankrate. Be smart and start saving and preparing now. Getting ready for retirement doesn’t need to be a burden. Start today and you will be ready for the next season in life.