In our culture, our identity is mostly defined by what we do. People usually introduce themselves with their titles. “Hello, I’m (name) CEO of X corporation, or Accountant, or Manager of Y brand…” This is especially true of those with high power careers. When work ends, an identity crisis naturally occurs. “If I’m not a (insert your title here), who am I?”
While it seems people prepare for retirement, those preparations seldom include anything other than financial considerations. In my conversations, I hear folks talk about traveling during retirement most often. Everyone has romantic visions of visiting places they have long read about. Travel is a great way to stay active and enjoy life. But honestly, how much can one travel? I decided to test this on my self:
As of January 2021, I had been retired for six (6) years. 2190 days to be exact. In that time, I had traveled to nine (9) countries. All those trips totaled about 90 days out of the 2190. That left 2100 days that I wasn’t traveling.
I also hear folks talk about spending time with their grandkids. Also a great goal! Again, let me offer myself as an example: After retirement, I moved to Chicago to be close to my daughter and her family and immediately started babysitting one day a week for my then 9 month old granddaughter. I still spend my Wednesdays with her and her little brother and I wouldn’t change that arrangement for anything. But, I cannot see myself doing that every day of the week. I know I’m not alone. More than one client has told me that they don’t want to be full time babysitters for their grandkids.
Retirement is a major life transition that requires careful consideration of all aspects of life and wellbeing, not just finances. A retirement coach can help one prepare for this transition by working through social, mental, spiritual, physical, and financial changes that you may expect to occur in your life.
It is sad that divorce and depression rates go up in retirement (Journals of Gerontology.) These can be avoided with careful planning and support.
I am a trained and certified retirement coach. Please reach out, let’s talk!