Dave Kennon, Kennon Financial
Many people can’t wait for retirement. They’re already looking forward to traveling, sleeping in, crossing items off their bucket list. But for those of us who live to work (rather than work to live), the idea of never going back to work can seem confusing and a little nerve-wracking. How do you stop working when work is your whole life?
Retiring for people whose identity rests in their professional work can be extra challenging. I once had a client tell me about her husband’s first day of retirement. He’d been an executive at a Fortune 500 company most of his life. That first morning, he woke up like usual, rubbed the sleep out of his eyes, swung his legs down onto the floor, and looked at his wife with a confused expression. “What am I supposed to wear?”
She 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.
I’ve found, especially with Type A people in high-power positions, that retiring can be a very challenging experience. I get it. I’m a Type-A individual, myself. I’ve been called lots of things: driven, intense…..kinda nerdy. I love what I do and fully intend to work into my 70s, hopefully with a few of my children joining the team when they’re grown.
But, I still have a retirement plan. And so should you.
Plan for retirement like a vacation.
You have to plan for retirement, both financially and mentally. Don’t’ expect retirement just to “happen.” When you go on vacation, you put time into choosing the location, activities, and schedule for your trip. Retirement is just a really long vacation. Start planning your itinerary now.
Allow yourself time to adjust.
For the first year or so of your retirement, you may feel a little out-of-sorts. You may not know what to do with yourself, or find the changeover from working to retired to be stressful. This is normal. This is a big transition. For many people, it takes time to settle into the retirement of their dreams.
Retirement is NOT sitting by a pool drinking margaritas. (Or, it’s not ALL that.) The wisdom 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.
Explore consulting opportunities.
Consulting is a great way to slowly and gently transition into retirement. Plus, consulting is usually an awesome experience. You are the boss. You work your own hours and can earn a reasonable income. Check out sites like FlexJobs.com to find this type of work, or utilize the connections you already have.
Volunteer, or, if you’re feeling entrepreneurial, start a small non-profit for a cause you love. Open an animal shelter, build homes for those in need, read to kids at the library. Be proactive. Use your “get er’ done” business skills.
Share your wisdom.
Lastly and possibly most important: mentor. The happiest and most fulfilled Type-A retirees I know have taken a few younger people under their wing. The best place to start this process is a church or other faith-based organization. If you don’t 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.
If you’re ready to live the retirement of your dreams, join the Retirement Revolution by attending our next workshop, Tuesday, January 8th from 1:00-3:00. You can register here.
David Kennon, Kennon Financial
Bonus: Super Awesome Social Security News!
Social Security is giving you the biggest increase in 6 years. In 2018, if you are currently receiving Social Security, you will get a 2.1% increase. If you have not yet begun benefits, fear not, the 2.1% will be added to the amount you are eligible for once you apply.
Note: Many of you are still calling us on our old phone number. Please take note that our new number is: 941-556-6307. The old phone number will be disconnected in the near future.