Do you work full time? Do you have a spouse who works full time? Do you plan to continue working full time until you die? Do you have a spouse who plans to continue working full time until they die? Do you plan to retire? What does that mean? Do you have a detailed plan for how you are going to spend your time after leaving full time work? Do you have spouse who has a detailed plan for how they are going to spend their time after leaving full time work?
If your co-workers threw you a retirement party THIS AFTERNOON, and gave your job to someone else starting Monday, how long would it take for you to be bored to tears, hating to see the sun come up on yet another day? If you could retire tomorrow, would you be ready?
I want to tell you a story about a guy named Joe. Joe has been working for the same company for almost 30 years. He started out at entry level, but he worked hard and moved up in the company.
Joe is now in his late fifties. He has started to think about retirement. He’s saved a fair amount of money through his 401K, so he could make it financially without working. But emotionally, Joe is NOT comfortable with the idea of retiring. He likes his work. He likes the people he works with.
Lately, Joe’s wife has been thinking about his retirement, too! She has plans for them to travel all over the world together, seeing the things that she had dreamed of.
So, Joe tries to put the whole topic out of his mind, promising he’ll “worry about that later.” But “later” is fast approaching, and Joe is not sure what he needs to do. In fact, as the reality sets in, Joe is feeling somewhat panicked. The voices in his head start beating him up, because he has not prepared as well as he should. He is worried that he and his wife are not on the same page about what they want. He is afraid of the conversation they need to have. Joe has a lot going on inside his head.
Do you ever feel a little like Joe? What emotions do you feel when you think about leaving this career? Do you really love your work, and don’t know what you’ll do next? If you have not put some work into thoughtfully anticipating your next stage, you might be setting yourself up to fail.
You can design your successful retirement in three steps: 1. Know yourself; 2. Know your tasks; and 3. Make a plan. Then, just IMPLEMENT your plan! If this seems too simple, good! But don’t worry, the details will prove fascinating, challenging, and worthwhile.
Check here next week for more on psychological preparation for retirement!
“My passion is ensuring that every adult is mentally ready to succeed in all transitions that comprise the adult years. The meaning in my life comes from helping my patients see themselves, their situation, their future, and the entire world with new eyes and a newly courageous attitude.