Quick, think about it. What words come to mind when you hear the word "retirement?" Beyond sleeping in late, golf in the afternoon, plenty of time to do whatever you want, whenever you want. For many of us, there are more negatives than positives. Retirement can the realization that one is aging, losing identity, status. All your life you've been building a resume, one job after another, higher position in the company, more responsibility. Now, what are you responsible for? Yourself!
There is no one way to enjoy retirement; we are all unique. Whatever your goals and no matter who you wish to retire, you owe it to yourself to chart your own course with confidence. The old retirement paradigm seems to suggest that retirement years where a time a limitation, winding down, that we are "less than" as to compared to what came before. The media doesn't help as it bombards us with body images that are more aspirational than realistic. Have you seen the models advertising Depends or various medications during the evening news. Have you asked yourself, do these people really need these products?
Retirement nowadays looks at aging and maturity like a fine wine - ever improving with age. Age is perhaps the inaccurate measure of personal identity., capabilities, intelligence, pace, and stamina. In my work I've met people in their 80's that talk, think and act like someone much younger. Unfortunately, I have also met people in their 60's who talk, think, and act like someone much older.
How you have dealt with changes in your life up to now is a good indication of how you will most likely deal with retirement. Think back to the times in your life when you went through other transitions where you had to let go of one thing in order to advance or progress to another level of being. From childhood through early and mid adulthood, change usually requires us to let go of something to attain a new level of living. So it is in transitioning into retirement, simply and advancement and a change. For some, that can be abrupt,, stemming from loss of job or health. For others, the process can be more gradual, like entering a swimming pool from the shallow end.
Pre-retirement planning or readiness is essential. You all know it coming! You can start thinking about it the earlier the better.
You may want to enlist the hep of a retirement coach to help you navigate the waters of this new chapter in your life. Retirement Options provides a wealth of resources as well as links to a cadre of trained coaches. I've completed their training. Perhaps you might be interested in becoming a coach yourself!
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