In trying to prioritize the news that have resonated with me lately, I put as No. 1 learning that the UK has a new minister of loneliness. How many times do we hear that we need to develop skills for the unknown jobs of this century? It never occurred to me that a job of this century would be Minister of Loneliness. And yet, how much needed!Continue reading “Are We Alive? Technology May or May not have the answer.”
Do you have a millennial at home or at work? I do. We find article after article describing the differences between millennials and baby boomers. However, listening to the millennial I have at home I wonder: are we really that different?
The most powerful moral influence is example.
In an open letter to management, Lisa Earle McLeod’s compelling writing shows why millennials are constantly quitting jobs. The baby boomers reading this blog may be saying at this point “I worked for many years in the same company! We are really different.” And you may have a point or two when you add that we never expected free lunches at work!
I’m writing this post on Halloween day. Today fear is welcomed. Enjoy it while it lasts!
“The enemy is fear. We think it is hate; but, it is fear.”
In my readings on retirement a common pattern arises. People near to stepping outside of the work box fear it. I speak about retirement with friends, family, and people in general, all in their 50s, as part my journey to dig deeper into the subject. At some point of the conversation I always ask, what do you fear about retirement? 90% of the time the answer relates to the word health. I must confess this response disappoints me. Shouldn’t we be fearing being disengage with life after retirement more? When I think of the 43% of retirees who fall into depression because they lose purpose, that statistic scares me.
Taking care of pending shores and visiting new places or revisiting others gives most new retirees direction during the first years of retirement. Then the need for a higher purpose kicks in. Striving for self-fulfillment has never been as important as it is during this stage of life. What gave us purpose in the past disappears or is replaced by unfamiliar activities. Our children are gone; our identification with the job title we used to have vanishes; the network of friends reduces as we lose contact with co-workers; and the daily stimuli from work is replaced with routines. It sounds scary. “Meaningful activity will play a huge role in your retired life. If you feel bored, depressed, or unsatisfied with what you do for large part of the day, it can take a serious toll on your physical and mental health,” says Robin Ryan author of Retirement Reinvention.
The situation begs the question, what to do?
We have worked hard to build the financial support for retirement. Our basic needs of food, water, shelter and safety should be covered by our financial retirement plan. Despite this financial effort, we know that mankind doesn’t live on bread only.
The need for achievement, independence, development of our full potential and self-actualization (full realization of one’s creative, intellectual, or social potential) requires planning as well. Fortunately, we are now 50+ and that comes with some advantages (finally, the good news!)
The pre-retirement advantage: income for experimentation.
The retirement advantage: tested plan (if we have experimented in pre-retirement), time, experience, knowledge.
With 10 years ahead of me before retiring, my goal is to experiment with options. I’m looking forward to discovering the ones that I will pursue in retirement. Fear no more! I will learn my way to a happy retirement; to a realization of my full potential. Health issues may still come but I may cheat some illnesses by keeping myself engaged with life.
“Fears are educated into us, and can, if we wish, be educated out.”
— Karl Augustus Menninger
Ready to educate out your fear of retirement?
I met Jeanette at a social event this summer. Our conversation moved quickly from our professional lives to “I will retire in Mexico,” she said. I think she noticed my bewilderment after she mentioned her retirement plan. Based on OECD analysis of quality of life cities like Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver are among the 23 best places to live in. Why to move south then? I did not ask at that moment but a few days later I invited Jeanette for a coffee to learn more about this idea.
It seems she is not alone. The Expat Insider 2018 report by InterNations indicates that “nearly a quarter of US American expats (23%) describe their current employment status as retiree.” I visited additional online resources to prepare myself for my next conversation with Jeanette. Kathleen Peddicord, author and publisher of Live and Invest Overseas, advises on the benefits of retiring abroad, while others like Chris Powers, who runs PanamaForReal.com, has a more cautious approach.
Armed with coffees Jeanette and I started talking. “How did you decide to retire in Mexico?” I asked.
As a passionate traveller she and her husband are always organizing trips around the world. They see living in Mexico as an opportunity to continue travelling even when they start their transition to retirement. They have been influenced by Jeanette’s father-in-law’s own experience as an expat. This connection has helped them test drive the idea of living in Mexico. She has been visiting the lake Ajijic area to experience the daily life in this community made of mainly expats. The weather, the country’s slower pace, the lifestyle, the shops and affordable health care are among the benefits she and her husband see in this option.
I must tell you, I admire these expatarees™, as I call them. I left Latin America more than 20 years ago to move to Canada. I have lived in 3 countries by now. I have experienced first hand the culture shock, the loss of a social network, the awkwardness of not knowing the language and the rules. The baby-like feeling of having to learn everything from scratch. Would I like to start again in a new place at 64 or more? I asked myself. Jeanette’s explains me that, as a bonus, living in Mexico allows them to include more travelling in their retirement budget.
If, so far, you’re more intrigued than discouraged test drive your retirement plan as Jeanette and her husband did.
Find a culture that fits your psyche.Rick Steves, Americans living in Europe
Time passes fast when listening to Jeanette’s plan. I want to stay longer and ask more questions but we both have busy schedules for the day. Before finishing the conversation, I asked a last question. I know she is an active member of the community who regularly works on social causes. Do you have a life purpose for your retirement? With a big smile she says, “Now we are talking!” She has visited associations in lake Ajijic to continue her social work there too. You can see that she has done her homework. She left me with one final thought, “don’t go to a place to change it,” she said. On that, I cannot agree more.
I join those that are intrigued, or cautiously intrigued rather, by the idea of becoming expatirees™. If you are too, tell us what has worked and hasn’t worked for you as you look for the next city to call home.
“These days Dr. Goodall, who turned 81 earlier this month, has effectively exchanged the day-to-day rigour of field biology for a gruelling travel schedule that keeps her on the road about 300 days a year. Her aim is global conservation, or ‘making the world a better place for all living things’ – the stated mission of her eponymous Jane Goodall Institute.”
IVAN SEMENIUK, Science Reporter for the Global and Mail. Published April 17, 2015. Updated May 13, 2018.
“‘Age is just a mental state’ is a message [Paddy Jones, world’s Oldest Salsa Dancer,] and her partner are both committed to spreading in a fun and lively manner. If she’s inspired anyone to take up salsa, or enjoy any new hobby later in life, Paddy considers that the greatest win of all.”
JESSICA MEHTA, Meet Paddy Jones: The “World’s Oldest Salsa Dancer”, July 1, 2016.
“[Hazel] McCallion, who will turn 97 on Valentine’s Day, advises seniors to view life as a ‘multitude of stages.’”
“McCallion uses her bit of spare time to tackle the mountain of unexamined gifts and souvenirs she accumulated as mayor. Her goal for 2018 is to continue connecting, one way or another, with old friends, especially those who fell out of touch while she was so busy as mayor.”
“’I don’t want to slow down,’ McCallion says firmly. ‘If I slow down, I’ll get old.’”
DAVID RIDER City Hall Bureau Chief, At age 96, Hazel McCallion remains a hurricane , Sat., Dec. 23, 2017.
We will pay a heavy price if we insist on navigating the 21st century with a 20th century mindset.
It is good to be reminded that we’ll be 21st century retirees. As such, we’ll not stop working and wait until we die (it’d be a long wait if you do, anyways). The 21st century retirees will step out side of the work box to a life purpose. This century offers so many opportunities to become GREAT.
How would you define your life purpose as a 21st century retiree? Share your ideas with us! Help us THINK BIG.
It doesn’t bug me jokes about gender tendencies.
“There’s no ‘I’ in denial.” Peter Serafinowicz
Ok, it does bug me a little. Who can say who talks more, suggests more, or anything else in a relationship? The couple does, which reminds me that I have something to suggest to my SO (significant other).
Have you ever applied this wise advice “vent, listen, repeat” to your SO ?
I have told my SO to start sharing with us his side of this retirement process we are in together. Surprisingly his response so far has been (drum roll, please) …… nothing. I know some of you heard me and are already developing great visions for retirement. Well done!
As for my SO and I, it seems time runs at different pace for the each of us. We are working on it.
I’ve been reading Sara Yogev’s book, A Couple’s Guide to Happy Retirement and Aging. According to her work with retired couples, the satisfaction we get out of our marriages could be diminished by the changes we face in retirement. “You want to ensure your retirement years will be your reward for the years you invested in your working life. It can include new challenges that energize and excite you and your marriage. And your marriage deserves the same care as it enters the retirement phase. May it be for you a time of self-fulfillment and growth in your relationship.” These are Yogev’s closing remarks in her book.
Next week I will be celebrating my anniversary. We will be travelling and discovering new places. I’m excited! I want this happy feeling to stay with us. We have been committed to be real partners in life. As my dearest co-founder in this future retirement adventure, I want to listen my SO’s voice. I’m sure you too. I promise I will not jump with my suggestions!
Drum roll, again please ……………………………………. coming soon!
You can be sure I have more things to vent about and repeat the process again. I will put them aside for now. At this moment, I just want to remain in this listening mode.
As for Google’s gender, it is gender-neutral and full of suggestions, but it doesn’t have a buddy to bounce ideas with.
We are listening!
For lack of a better name my retirement vision so far could be GREAT EXPECTATIONS!
“Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence. There’s no better rule.”
― Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
When I look through the eyes of retirement I see this giant jigsaw puzzle with each piece representing my expectations. The risk with keeping the pieces too big is that I could end up with a faulty plan. These are my pieces:
- I expect my time to be well spent because finally I will have 24 hours a day “for me”.
- I expect my health to carry me through reads, parties, hikes, jogs and new discovered passions.
- I expect money to last and be able to share some.
- I expect my soul to be full to appreciate life even more.
Some of you may have already succeeded at trying to balance all these expectations. In my case I have done some strikes in certain areas but for most I’m leaving the balancing task for later; perhaps for when I retire.
But what about this predictor of success in retirement? Create an engaging vision of your life after retirement and your chances of being happier will increase. I must find the time now! I want to create a vision that is big enough (or creative enough) to include all the expectations listed above. As I was writing the previous sentence my mind asked, is this list of expectations creative enough?
I hope you are convinced that we are ALL creative. Otherwise, how to explain that you are alive in the 21st century when other species are extinct? Putting the evolution discussion aside, I do need to exercise my creativity muscle. Producing challenging goals for my retirement, as I have done for previous stages in my life, requires creative thinking.
Professor Gerard Puccio, in his course on Creative Thinking Toolkit, invites us to reinvigorate our imagination by:
- Pursuing what intrinsically motives you. In my case, learning new things. In my husband’s case, travelling.
- Applying divergent thinking or exploring multiple solutions.
I want to reinvigorate my imagination! Like the “oh so” famous game of imagining new uses for a paper clip, so my husband and I should imagine other uses for learning and travelling. We have evidence of our love for these activities. Thus, my goal is to create a list of 50 hobbies with potential to travel and learn.
To start, I googled “hobbies after 50”. I have never thought of this hobby: horology, the art of making clocks and watches. I love wearing watches; knowing how they work seems appealing to my learning bug. I even see myself and my husband travelling to conferences to meet like-minded people.
As Dickens said “take everything on evidence.” Like an entrepreneur that validates assumptions as early as possible I must try horology before retirement. Nancy L. Anderson, contributor for Forbes, writes “Practice retirement while you are still working. In fact, making a long, drawn-out transition to retirement could actually be part of your retirement plan.”
I will keep my vision of great expectations for retirement. The pieces of my puzzle will become smaller, and with sharper edges, once I decide what solutions to try. Those solutions that I like the most will be part of my tested retirement plan.
Visit this list from Wikipedia to feed your imagination, hobby-wise.
Let us know what novel ideas you come up with to expend your retirement’s leisure time.
When I was little I wanted to be a POET!
Aim back to the North,
aim back to the burning West.
Home is there waiting.
Then life came an took that dream somewhere else …. to Tyler’s path and other’s too but not mine.
Now I’m 54 and determined to make my next big entrance in life a worthy one. I have learned a few tricks to make dreams part of my life and my reality. Yes! I have missed some dreams too. I feel like building and rebuilding life is part of the fun.
I will be retiring in 10 years! And psychologists predict that if I create a vision for my retirement I will be happier when the time comes. Determined as I am and with more than 30 years in the business environment, I should know how to create a vision for my retirement.
This is my plan. I will face this retiring-happy challenge as if I’d be building an enterprise. Let’s approach it with the passion of an entrepreneur and the heart of the poet that, somewhere, must be still living in me. Don’t pack yet …… we have time. Like many paraphernalia would say “stay calm and retire.” With a little luck it will be before I reach 64!
First step: Knowing Myself
It seems to me that in the “Knowing Myself” department I should have experience as well. I have had “myself” for 54 years. But I always approach discovering the self with hesitation because this is what I know so far: we are evolving beings. How can I make sure that the vision I design today is the vision I will want 10 yeas from now? The honest answer is I don’t know. That said, psychologists warm me that missing to create a vision for my retirement will have a high probability of leading me to an unhappy retirement.
The Stanford Center on Longevity study on “The Decision to Retire” postulates that “successful retirements result from retiring ‘to’ a positive vision of life after the career transition rather than retiring ‘from’ the negative aspects of work. One powerful factor that pulls people to retire is having an engaging vision of life after retirement, such as travel, pursuing interests or causes, new career directions, and/or spending time with friends and family.” I’m already excited by the prospect of developing an engaging vision of my life once I retire.
Using my entrepreneur’s hat I know that I need to find what is the big problem around retirement. According to the World Health Organization life expectancy is growing. Thus, the big “problem” (to me good news) is that we have more time. We better don’t waste it since it is the last chance to be happier.
I will use this blog to summarize the results of my research as I keep collecting information on how to make the best out of my next stage in life. I could just show my perspective; however, it will be more enriching if we design scenarios that include more than my perspective (or my husband’s perspective).
If you want your perspective to be included, let’s start by learning about your demographics by answering seven questions in the following survey here. I will keep updating the results for you.
Once I collect more than 25 answers to the Survey on Demographics, you will be able to see the results on the Home page.