I recently read an article in The New Yorker magazine about “Retirement Coaches.” It struck me as a less than flattering portrayal of this profession. Yet, isn’t that what you do? From reading your columns, you hardly strike me as the kind of professional this article described.
The reason I’m asking is because I wonder if a Retirement Coach is what I need?
Next year, right after my sixtieth birthday, I will be retiring. I have been attending to my financial planning for retirement for years, but honestly, in other ways I feel quite ill prepared for the realities of what comes next. While I look forward to it, I am also nervous. So many people seem to flounder when they retire. I don’t want that to be my experience. I have made careful decisions throughout my entire adult life. Why would I just jump willy-nilly into this phase?
Interestingly, my dear husband cannot begin to face this topic. He refuses to discuss retirement and often “jokes” he hopes he “keels over on the job.” (He’s sixty-four and owns his own business. Trust me, the man is brilliant. We both could have retired ten years ago and would have been quite financially secure.) I find his attitude discouraging. Won’t we be at odds all of the time if I stop working and he pushes on?
Time to Plan
I read that article too. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to further the discussion of this topic in a very positive direction. Oh well, it was a good reminder that “one size does not fit all.”
Yes, one of the areas of coaching I enjoy immensely is working with individuals during both the pre-retirement or the actual retirement phase. While there are certainly those who doubt this coaching option, it just makes sense to me to plan for and enjoy retirement. Think about all of the care we take getting our finances in order in anticipation of retirement. Why not get additional information, learn new tools, and establish strategies for what can be a very satisfying phase of life? Besides, working with a coach is so convenient – everything can be done via phone appointments if preferred!
I often begin by asking clients to describe their ideal retirement … and sometimes this first question can be one of the most difficult. (When it is, I know we both have our work cut out for us.) I share this to you as a way of illustrating just how challenging retirement can be. Most of us spend our entire adult lives working. It’s what we do. Then wham, one day it all stops cold. No wonder your husband is avoiding this like the plague!
What I especially appreciate about retirement coaching is that it is proactive. We kick around ideas, gather information, identify skills and strengths, create a plan, decide what is needed to implement the plan, and get you moving. All along the way, you have support from someone who not only understands the process but wants you to thrive.
You’ve learned how to have a successful career, you can learn to have a successful retirement. If you and I were to work together, here are some questions we might discuss. What have been the most satisfying aspects of your employment?
- What will you miss most about your job? Least?
- How do you plan to replace what you will miss about your job?
- What do others expect of you in retirement (think husband) and how do these expectations match or conflict with your needs.
- We would also explore the following areas:
- Your retirement “stye.”
- Retirement goals.
- Opportunities and options available only to the retired.
- Interests, activities, and hobbies you enjoy, and may want to try.
- Retirement goals.
Retirement can be one long slog … or it can be one of the very best times of your life. It’s all up to you! Still have more questions? Feel free to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org .