How Much Do You Know About Retirement? by Joanne Waldman

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How Much Do You Know About Retirement? by Joanne Waldman

There are many misconceptions about retirement and this article hopes to clarify some of them.

MOST PEOPLE RETIRE BECAUSE THEY SEE THEMSELVES GETTING OLD.

There is a big difference between getting old and being old. Wayne Dyer, the author, has a saying, “Don’t ever let an old person in your skin!” What does that mean for you?

Joe was 82 years young and came for coaching because he wanted to find employment. At his first meeting, he told the coach that he was going to find a job. True to his word, he found a job as a maintenance man for a nursing home. Joe had verve, luster and determination. It never crossed his mind that he would not be hired due to his age. At the same time, there are clients who, at 45 years of age, feel too old to be hired. If you adopt that perspective, that will be your reality. Ask yourself, “How old would I be if I didn’t know how old I was?”

Our society does not help with misconceptions about age. Do you know the age that the United States Government assigns to an older worker? 40 years old! Our society tells us if we have a wrinkle, we are old. How can we move along the developmental path with wisdom and not look at our chronological age?

WHEN A PERSON HAS OTHERS WHO ARE DEPENDENT UPON HIM/HER, THEY TEND TO RETIRE EARLIER RATHER THAN LATER. In reality, when we have others dependent on us, we tend to put life on hold. Decisions about retirement and lifestyle are postponed in order to continue to support others financially, physically or emotionally. Baby boomers, also known as the sandwich generation, are often dealing with both childcare and eldercare issues. When a 57-year-old male has a young child and elderly parents, demands on him are huge. He may find it easier to postpone a work related decision until something changes with his dependents or until a change is forced upon him.   What can you do to plan for potential dependent issues or how can you change your current situation to move toward your retirement goals?

ONE OF THE BEST WAYS TO GENUINELY ENJOY YOUR RETIREMENT IS TO BE FREE FROM EVERYTHING YOU PREVIOUSLY HAD ON YOUR JOB.

Although it is tempting to discard many things related to your work, it is very important to replace the five functions of work: financial remuneration, time management, utility or sense of purpose, status and socialization. The need for these five benefits from work does not go away simply because we retire. They have become such a part of our lives that we cannot simply discard them without with some emotional, psychological or spiritual consequences. These factors become requirements. How we replace the benefits received from work is key. What is your plan to do this?

MEN FIND A MORE DIFFICULT EMOTIONAL ADJUSTMENT INTO RETIREMENT THAN WOMEN

Gender does not play a role in retirement adjustment. What makes a difference is finding a life direction for retirement that offers you a driving purpose and a deep sense of personal fulfillment. What gives your life meaning? Life meaning comes from pursuing purpose. A coach works with an individual to help them discover their dream and to define their personal life meaning. Our purpose comes from expressing our gifts, and that often involves helping other people. Our health is even dependent on finding life meaning. We all know someone who retired without life meaning and died within a few months or years. A directed and purposeful life can lead to a healthier and happier retirement.

With these misconceptions clarified, what are you going to do to make your retirement a success? What plans can you put into place now to ensure an enjoyable and productive retirement?   What is your definition of a successful retirement?

By Joanne Waldman

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