David Kennon, Kennon Financial
How do you stop working when work is your whole life?
According to the Kaiser Institute, what percentage of people in this country die with no assets remaining (only social security and pensions are left)?
Answer: (A) 12%. (That’s less than you thought, isn’t it?)
In this week’s article, I’m going to discuss practical, actionable tips to help those of us who live to work, instead of work to live. Retiring for people whose identity rests in their professional work can be extra challenging.
I heard a heartbreaking story one time. A woman was telling me about the first day of her husband’s retirement. Her husband was an executive at a Fortune 500 company most of his life. When he retired at age 65, she will never forget what he said on the first morning he woke up.
As he rubbed the sleep out of his eyes, he swung his legs down onto the floor, looked a little confused and looked at his wife. “What am I supposed to wear?” He asked feebly. His wife thought for a second and said, “Well, I guess dress just like you were going to go play tennis today.”
He had no idea what to do with himself. He had neglected to plan for his retirement.
Don’t let this happen to you! I have found, especially with men, that retiring can be a very challenging experience. Women seem to be more relational and usually quickly find things to do with their time, such as babysit grandkids, volunteer, and help anyone in the family who is in need.
I think about this myself sometimes. I’m a “Type-A” individual. I’ve been called lots of things: driven, intense…..kinda nerdy. So am I one of the people out there who lives to work? I’m not sure that I ever plan on retiring. I am blessed to own a business that I intend to run multi-generationally with my children. I fully plan on working until my 70’s and 80’s.
So, without further ado, here are Dave Kennon’s Ten Tips to Living an Awesome “Type A” Retirement.
- You have to PLAN for retirement (both financially and personally). Don’t’ expect retirement just to “happen.” When you go on vacation, you usually will put some time into the itinerary, activities, and schedule. Retirement is just a really LOOONG vacation.
- For the first year or so, you may feel a little out-of-sorts. You may not know what to do with yourself. You may find the changeover from working to retired to be stressful. This is normal. You are not strange or unique. This is a big transition. For many people, it takes time to settle into the retirement of their dreams.
- If possible, look into a consulting role once you retire. It is a nice way to slowly and gently transition into retirement. Plus, consulting is usually an awesome job. You are the boss. You work your own hours and usually get paid a reasonable income. Check out sites like FlexJobs.com to find this type of work, or just utilize the connections you already have.
- Keep moving! Retirement is NOT sitting by a pool drinking margaritas. The advice I receive from nearly every happy and healthy retiree is this: If you stop moving you die. Pick up tennis, golf, biking, hiking, bird watching…whatever is interesting to you. Just make sure it involves physical movement
- Volunteer. Or better yet, start a small non-profit for a cause you love. Start an animal shelter. Build homes for the homeless. Start an exotic cacti club. Be proactive. Use your “get er’ done” business skills.
- Lastly and possibly most importantly: mentor. The happiest and most fulfilled “Type-A” retirees whom I know have taken a few younger people under their wing. The best place to start his process is a church. If you do not attend church, there are many community centers that are in desperate need of talented retirees to build up the next generation of workers and citizens.
David Kennon, Kennon Financial
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