If you are still in the working world, you probably have discussions with your workmates about how you are looking forward to retiring. No matter what your job or position may be there are always problems or tasks with which you would rather not deal. While your focus may be on retiring from your job you might consider what are you retiring to? Many people have no exit strategy and no vision of where they want to take their life. If you are in this position you’re not alone, thousands of people struggle with the agony of a significant life change and how to transition to a new life.

There are new patterns emerging how which you may be aware. There is the “old” retirement and the “new” retirement. In the “old” retirement, you worked for 40 years, retired at 65 and lived to age 70 to 75.  Most people didn’t have a pension plan the reality was that they might live only 5 to 10 years into retirement so they didn’t worry about transition planning and retirement education. Most people kicked back and did nothing.

The “new” retirement is completely different. People are retiring earlier and living longer; it is conceivable that you could have 25 or more years ahead of you. That is a long time to do nothing. Today, there is a need to build a new life structure that will challenge, motivate, and provide a feeling of being useful and a sense of life satisfaction.  So today we are finding that people work to create a lifestyle.  Rather than just stopping work people begin to live differently; they work part time, volunteer, take up a new hobby, travel, establish a new career, further education etc.

We have discovered that a job is more than a paycheck by making clear demands on your time and energy; it provides an total structure around which the rest of your life can be organized. In retirement, the job may or may not be a traditional one. It may be for pay, or not (volunteering), but some form of work or activity is necessary to provide life structure. In thinking about a new life structure here are seven questions to consider:

  • How will I spend my time?
  • What do I really like to do?
  • What will keep me motivated?
  • Do I want a second career?
  • What about working part-time?
  • How will my family be affected?
  • Will my finances support my vision of retirement?

Coming up with the answers these questions can be challenging. It helps to be able to crystallize your thinking by occasionally including your partner or close friend in the discussion process. Getting different points of view is very helpful in deciding your directions.

The last question about finances is something for which a Retirement Income SpecialistTM can provide answers. Having a written plan that lets you know how much you can comfortably spend each week, takes the worry out of retirement finances.

Finally, the idea is to get your head around retiring to something rather than from something. You don’t want to be a person who has put their life on hold and are looking backward at what might’ve been.