We have a very dear friend who is six months to a year away from making the leap into retirement. He has worked long, hard hours to make sure that he and his wife will be financially ready. In his mind, I think he envisions retirement as just “stopping.” But at the Voyage, we’ve learned that there is a lot more to consider:
- Do you have a plan? You are about to enter your own “second act.” Think of this as an opportunity to start over…to redesign your life to be any way you wish it could be! An architect friend of ours recently published the book, “Life-A-Tecture: Build an Experience-Driven Life.” It’s a great read, full of timely advice and lots of motivation.
- Do you really want to be just ‘done’? Perhaps you want to consult, teach or work part-time. Is there a different way to continue with only the best parts of your current job?
- What are you curious about? What is it that will get you up in the morning? Do you have a passion, something you wish you could do, something you’ve always wanted to try or learn? You know how when you are so busy with working and the day-to-day grind that you never have the time to xxx (fill in the blank here). Well, you are about to get that time, so give it some thought!
- What is your hobby or interest? Now is the time to start considering what you need to pursue that hobby. Are there art classes nearby? Do you need to finally purchase that kayak?
- Is there an opportunity for you to give back? If you are like us, you have led a very blessed working career and have a lifetime of experience. Now may be the time for you to volunteer, participate in a professional organization or give back to your community.
- Do you have a sense of adventure? I’m pretty certain that no one who enters retirement does so thinking, “I know…I think I’ll sit here in my recliner in front of the TV every day until they haul my sorry behind away.” You need to develop a sense of giddy freedom!
- How will you maintain your circle of friends? This is a big one. Because a primary source of our contacts come from a work environment, you need to keep and expand your relationships with intentionality. We’ve found that professional organizations, clubs, coffee groups and even social media have been critical in keeping us from ever feeling lonely.
- Do you plan to travel? There are lots of issues to consider with traveling, including destinations, traveling styles, and the ins-and-outs of traveling together. Time to start dreaming, discussing and planning!
- For those of you who are married, are you ready to be together 24/7? This is a huge thing to consider! It was probably the steepest learning curve we had when we started the Encore Voyage. In “Life-A-Tecture” our friend has made this his #1 Rule: “Marry the right person. If you have not married the right person, you have got problems. That person should be the love of your life and your best friend.” We have found his advice to be spot on, and share even more hints in Retirement Togetherness – 10 Steps for 24/7 Success.
- What are your DREAMS and GOALS? Because you see, Retirement is NOT an END! It is just a beginning of a new adventure. A new Voyage, if you will. To be really successful in retirement, you need to have some new and bigger plans for the future!
So how about it. If you could give one piece of advice to someone who is about to retire, what (non-financial) advice would that be? I’m anxious to hear the things I’ve missed!