Think about your days at work. Even on the worst day, you experience a variety of emotions including feeling valued, needed, and respected. At work, you are scolded and praised; you absorb, and contribute knowledge. Most likely, you thrive on that steady flow of interaction with fellow workers, the fast pace, and the feeling that you are ‘doing something.’ When this stimulus is gone, how easily do you expect to transition to tending your garden? What will you do to maintain purpose and how will you contribute to the world?
What’s Your Plan?
The answer to this important question of what you’ll do with your time is to have a non-financial retirement plan. Having a financial retirement plan is common, but only 30% of baby-boomers have a non-financial plan. Why don’t you have a plan? Don’t feel bad; it’s not your fault. We didn’t expect to live this long and thus need a plan for a whole new phase of our lives. Our parents didn’t have much of a plan—but we’re living 10-30 years longer than they did—so we need one. However, there are three hurdles to creating a plan.
- We didn’t know we were supposed to have a plan, and figured we’ll make it up as we go. That’s being reactive, not proactive.
- Even if we wanted to, we were never taught how to make a non-financial retirement plan. What would it include? What would it look like? I’ve met a lot of executives who could write a business plan in a day, but have no idea how to write their own plan for retirement.
- It takes deep introspection to consider what you’ll do with the next phase of your life. This is not easy to do by yourself and resources have been thin in this area. After all, the financial firms’ profits come from your invested money remaining invested, not spent.
No financial firm wanted me to spend my money on a sailing journey around the world, but that’s what I saw as my vision, so I went anyway. What do you see in your vision? When you think about yourself in retirement, what do you picture? If you don’t have a vision and a picture of what you want, then you may want to consider these statistics.
- In retirement you have a 40% higher chance of falling into clinical depression than when you were working. *
- You have a 56% higher chance of having a stroke if you cannot state your life purpose in retirement. **
- The average retiree watches 4.5 hours of television per day. That’s the equivalent of 205 8-hour days or 56% of your potential productivity time. ***
- Retirees have many concerns but their #1 concern is the lack of identity they felt in their career.
- Still, 70% of retirees don’t have a non-financial retirement plan.
Do you have a plan?
Without a planned route, it’s easy to drift aimlessly from one pleasure to another never finding fulfillment. In the words of the great motivator, Jim Rohn, "If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's...." It doesn't have to be this way. Retirement doesn't have to mean the end, but rather the beginning of renewal.
Retirement should be redefined as opportunity
Need a first step? Grab a copy of my new eBook, The Top 5 Retirement Planning Secrets. It’s free and you can get it by clicking here. When will you take the first step?
*May 2013 study by the UK’s Institute of Economic Affairs
**American Heart Association