MY TWO CENTS:
Now what? What’s now, and what’s next?
We’re in the business of financial planning and wealth management. We have the opportunity to support people in all kinds of transitions through our work. One of the biggest transitions through which we serve is the transition from working to retirement. And, that has been happening quite a bit lately.
Demographically, it isn’t surprising that increasing numbers of people are retiring. The Baby Boomer generation is in the prime window for typical retirement age. Since that generation has the largest number of people that our work force has ever experienced, it makes perfect sense that many are making the decision to transition from working to retirement.
And, this leads me back to my initial question of, “Now what?” As a person thinks about making the transition to retirement, we like to encourage people to consider what they are retiring “TO” versus what they are retiring “FROM.”
Realizing from what you’re retiring isn’t that difficult. You’ve likely been doing it for 20, 30, 40, or more years. You may have found joy and life in your work, or you may have dreaded and simply endured your job. Either way…it’s clear that you won’t be doing that thing in that capacity moving forward.
More difficult is deciding to what you’re retiring. The work of acknowledging what is your current reality, what dreams or goals you’re pursuing or setting for yourself, and identifying the next steps to intentionally live your next stage of life is a bit more difficult. In fact, our experience shows that people making the transition without giving full consideration to what they’re pursuing next will take them anywhere from 12 to 24 months to feel settled in their next stage.
Here are a few practical recommendations and supporting questions for consideration as you begin to decide what you’re retiring TO:
- Define what gives you life. Do you enjoy projects or tasks? Do you enjoy being around people? Do you like to check boxes when you finish things? Do you like to serve?
- Decide whether you need or want to earn income. Will your plan require you to have additional sources of income? Do you feel like you’ll be more motivated to lean into your retirement work if you're paid for it? Will you feel unappreciated if you're not paid?
- Identify your near and long-term goals. Are there places you’d like to go that you haven’t experienced yet? Are there “bucket list” items that would give you life to pursue? What will be fun for you to accomplish when you’re 75, 80, 85, and 90 years old?
- Prepare to use your gifts, talents, and experience. Who can benefit from the wisdom you’ve developed over your life and career? What organizations matter to you that could benefit from your engagement? Where is an ideal place for you to mentor in your preferred capacity?
- Commit to your most beneficial habits. What routine will be effective for you to enjoy your new pursuits? What will you do to keep (or get) yourself healthy? Who are the people with whom you want to engage consistently? How will you make your social connections consistent and purposeful?
We have been blessed to advocate for the folks we serve in advance of their retirement transition by asking some variation of these questions. It is so much fun to see people lean into their next stage of life with the ability to live their legacy on purpose. How might that process look for you?
Make it a great week!
Scott Cousino, CFP®, CEPA®