Plan for Retirement to ensure Positive Aging.
Retirement financial planning is and has been available for years. We’ve all saved our pennies, moved them around, counted them repeatedly and planned for our “golden years.”
But what about the “what am I going to do all day part? Sometimes, lack of planning results in boredom or loneliness.
What’s been missing is a planning guide for everything in retirement life but the financial information. Our “Baby Boomers Guide to Retirement…50 Tips to Freedom” workbook is not about finances or investments or savings.
The workbook and this website are all about Positive Aging and who you are and what you want to do with your 40 freed-up hours from work. While co-author Pam and I are not quite ready for workbook publication, we are introducing these idea through our Richly Aged website.
Question: Are Retired Boomers happy in their retirement?
“I don’t miss the stress of work or the worry about my job status. I miss my work friends and a sense of purpose. Learning that ‘sense of purpose’ can come from other sources is something I haven’t mastered yet. And I’m lonely…Discussion group participant.”
We found that of the 76.7 million Baby Boomers impacted by the probability of retirement, (whether already retired or “soon to be retired,)” had various reactions about ending their familiar routine at work. More and more are realizing that this “unknown” new phase of unstructured retired life can be liberating but also daunting.
Research confirmed that many retirees expressed a strong desire for a pre-plan or future plan for the daily/social side of retirement. A structure for the forty hours normally filled up by your work tasks and the absence of the affiliations at work posed questions about boredom, loneliness and purpose.
Whether you are at the retirement decision point because of;
- job downsizing
- age restrictions
- health constraints
- you’ve been counting the moments until you could retire
- or a myriad of other reasons
Your decision is a big one!
The following are just a few of expressed apprehensions both before and after being retired:
- Will I be lonely without my “work family?”
- Will I be financially okay without my salary?
- Will I need to downsize my home or relocate to another part of the country?
- Will I be bored or find enough to do?
- Will I have an “identity” or purpose like I did at work?
- Will I be able to keep driving my car?
- Will “health care” eat into my savings?
- Will I be able to remain independent?
- Will I be able to find employment if I need to?
- Will Social Security be available throughout my lifetime?
We will address all of these questions as we go forward, however, the general consensus from many of the retirees is simple:
“Put some solid planning into what you will do when you become your own ‘boss’ after retirement.”
Many folks found that the vacation weeks that came with your work benefits, were better planned than the days, months and years following retirement.
Wherever you are in your timetable for retirement, this is the time to start your plan.
Retirement “life” planning; the happiness solution.
Start thinking about the “someday dreams” you had in the past. Dreams you filed away because the job, the family, the commute filled the days.
Write down these self discovery questions to stimulate your thinking about the many possibilities for your after-retirement life.
Things you didn’t have time to learn.
Places you couldn’t visit.
Activities you wanted to participate in.
When you envision a happy productive retired person, what does that look like?
What does the person look like that you absolutely don’t want to be like?
There are many catalysts for deciding to retire as mentioned above and what is first decided may not be the only “Phase” in your retirement journey. You’ve been through several phases in life to get to this point and there will be several more in the upcoming portion of your life.
Start this “self-discovery” part of your plan for sure, but remain flexible. Staying flexible is one of the keys to happiness. After this initial “self-discovery”assessment is finished, we’ll start digging deeper.