“The two most important days in your
life are the day you are born and the
day you find out why.” -- Mark Twain
According to Retirement Options, an organization that provides retirement readiness assessments to individuals, there are many of us living longer in our retirements than we’ve lived in our employment years (today, this may be 30-40 years of retirement). There are approximately 11,000 per day retiring in the US. In Canada, well over 1,000 people per day are retiring. To ensure that we live in communities with fully engaged retirees, being clear about our ultimate purpose and then pursuing that purpose gives our lives greater meaning.
Retirement is like graduation commencement. It means starting a new life, not ending. However, retiring takes practice for most people. So whether you are “between opportunities”, trying out part time retirement or fully retired, this can be time to “practice retirement”, both financially and in terms of your lifestyle before you decide to fully retire.
While reading "Your Retirement Quest: 10 Secrets for Creating and Living a Fulfilling Retirement” earlier this year, I was so persuaded by the Chapter called “Giving Back” that I immediately took action. I researched volunteer organizations in our area and reached out to the Volunteer Coordinator for the community service organization that I chose. I met with Womens’ Community House in London, Ontario, a residence for abused women and shortly afterward and volunteered to develop and deliver a series of job search workshops to their residents. As a result of this volunteer activity, I felt much more useful, healthy and optimistic.
As we are planning for longer retirements, there are many good books to read including “The Blue Zone: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who Have Lived The Longest” by Dan Buettner, “Changing Your Game From Success to Significance” by Bob Bufford, “70 is the New 40: Bonus Years Here We Come!“ by Barbara Penn-Atkins, “Remarkable and Real: Remarkable Questions and Real Possibilities for the Second Half of Life” co-authored by Gary R. Jay and many others. It is important to determine the why of what we are doing. “Your Retirement Quest: 10 Secrets for Creating and Living a Fulfilling Retirement” written by two retired Proctor and Gamble executives, Alan Spector and Keith Lawrence, is also a good read to help you identify your ultimate purpose.
There are now on-line assessments and other tools that can be accessed to help participants determine their readiness for retirement. These assessments can help you determine your preparedness for retirement in areas such as attitude toward retirement, adaptability, anticipated life satisfaction, leisure, and many other aspects of retirement planning besides what is traditionally thought of as being primarily focused on the financial side of the process. To put things into perspective, your financial planner may ask about your financial readiness for retirement with a question such as “What would you like to do with our retirement when you get there?” Start planning to determine your next steps at least five years before your retirement event.
For further details on how to prepare for your own “new beginnings”, visit www.robertsonconsulting.ca.
or contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.retirementoptions.com.
Editor's Note: If you are looking for things to do, may we suggest our Viximus (Latin for 'We Lived') website -- www.viximus.com. It is a place to post photos and life stories of your deceased friends and relatives. Commemorate them while details of their lives are still fresh. By the next generation, it may be too late. Best of all -- Viximus is FREE!