We are the generation for who the 80 hour work week was the norm. Competition for the newest, shiniest car, the biggest house, raged on as Boomers sought that top-of-the-heap recognition that typified our existence. Our generation is known for our unwavering determination to be the best of the best. Type A = Baby Boomer. Now, with impending retirement threatening an end to the work week, what will Boomers do to achieve their feeling of worth? Do we really believe that we can quietly exit the working world and find fulfillment? Or is work so ingrained in us, such an integral part of our lifestyle and feeling of personal worth that we cannot hope to realistically ever stop working?
Del Webb 2010 Baby Boomer Survey http://www.dwboomersurvey.com/ reflects that 72% of Boomers plan to keep working in some capacity after retirement. With our recent economic implosion, it seems reasonable that the financial situation could require Boomers to keep bringing in the bacon. However, according to the survey of 64 year olds, the number one reason to continue working after retirement is to ward off boredom and keep busy. Second is financial. Note that number three is self-satisfaction and number four reason is they enjoy working. When asked what aspects of retirement have been disappointing, number one was not being around people and co-workers.
Is there life after the working world? Do Baby Boomers know HOW to retire? To slow down, enjoy each day one at a time, competing for nothing more than the TV remote control. Can we find peace?
Planning NOW for retirement whenever
Retirement life will be different from the working world we have come to know and love over our past 65 years – we know that. But knowing does not make it any easier or better equip us to make the most of these golden years to be. NOW is the time to start preparing mentally and emotionally for what is in store. If you hope to just flip the switch from working one day to being retired the next, I fear many a challenge awaits you. A little preparation can go a long way.
- Spend time researching retirement and how people respond, adapt and grow. Individual retiree blogs are on the internet sharing personal insights into the reality of being retired. An ever-growing collection can be found at www.retirement-online.com . Talk with other retired folks you know and ask the hard questions. What was your biggest challenge? What do you do to achieve a feeling of accomplishment each day? What do you do to prevent boredom? Are you happy?
- Accept that the pace of life will be slower and make an effort to enjoy the individual moments. The constant rushing and pushing and competing are now over (unless you are in line for a latte first thing in the morning). You have earned a break from the action but it is up to you to take advantage of it.
- With many quality years ahead of you, channel your energy and passion into something other than work. Volunteering for a cause you believe in is one way seniors are putting their retired time to good use. Hobbies abound, the world of travel is expansive, so you do have choices.
- A Satisfying Retirement Lifestyle presents an excellent case for “Re-branding yourself”, positioning retirement as a period of incredible opportunity. Create a vision of how you want to live and set a time-table to make it real (just like back in the working world). http://satisfyingretirement.blogspot.com/2010/08/is-it-time-for-you-to-be-re-branded.html
- If you need to work due to financial considerations, you have to do what you have to do.
In many cases, work is where the majority of our lives and focus have been. Retirement requires a new focus on life and how you choose to live. But with some thoughtful planning and insight today, you can hope to realize the wonders of those golden years they are always telling us about. You only have one chance to do this right.
Don’t forget to pick up a free copy of my Navigating the Retirement Jungle, available upon request by mailing to firstname.lastname@example.org.