Well it was bound to happen. The boomers are booming. Statistics Canada reports that a full one third of working Canadians will retire in the next 5 years. More and more of the business owners I meet are wanting to plan how they are going to exit their business as their retirement approaches, and they are wise to be planning ahead!
The main question for a business owner is, “Do I want to sell it, close it, or pass it on to a family member?” And the decisions and action plans are different depending on this overall objective.
Yet the bigger issue that would-be retirees face is what they are going to do, or be, once they retire. Because our identity is so connected to our work or business, it can be difficult to feel confident in our own skin when we are no longer in the work world.
Who am I when I’m not working?
Planning for retirement has traditionally involved financial and lifestyle changes, however there are other self-awareness and psychological issues to address as well.
Here are 4 important issues that need attention as you approach retirement…
Connections, Groups and Affiliations
It’s important to have communities and interests that you love outside the home BEFORE you retire, so that the sudden abundance of time can be filled in part, with things and people you are passionate about. If you’ve been working so hard you’ve forgotten what you’re passionate about, then you have more self-exploration to do in preparation for retirement.
Productivity and Impact
Knowing how you want to make a ripple in the world after your work life ends is also important. We can fill our retirement days with fun and leisure but at some point, we’re going to feel the itch to be productive. This might be in the creative arts, or it could be through volunteering, or perhaps it’s the legacy you leave by being a caregiving influence in your grandchildren’s lives.
Align your Intimate Relationship
Long before you reach retirement you will need to create a shared vision with your spouse or partner. Inevitably your individual dreams are going to differ, and, there is always a way, if you’re willing to find it, to have those dreams to harmonize into a joint future that you can build together.
Freedom to Be Whoever you Want to Be
When the expectations of the work world are behind you, and you’re facing the final phase of life we call elderhood, what is it that you need to give yourself permission to do, be or have, that you never allowed yourself before?! Will you be that eccentric renaissance man, or that cheeky, tell-it-like-it-is hip grandma, or will you simply wear something previously considered ‘outrageous’ and walk around town not caring two hoots what anyone else thinks? Why would you do this?! For the sheer joy and freedom of expressing your true nature! And because we live most of our lives conforming to other people’s rules about right and wrong, and the final third of our lives is the last chance to shed all that and finally be who we really are!
So, dear Wild Ones, I ask you this:
What is it that you need to let go of in order to be free to enjoy your retirement?
Post a comment here and let me know your answer. Or contact me for a conversation about how I can help you create more Meaning and Fulfillment.
Until next time, be free and wild,