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.”
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?
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!
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.