What I Do
One of the main things I’ve learned going through the retirement process myself is that success is about a lot more than having enough money. For many of us, our pre-retirement identities are formed by what we do: our careers, raising our children, volunteering, our circle of friends and family. A lot of those pieces of our identity are going to change as we get older; having a roadmap or blueprint for our careers and retirements puts us in control of the journey and helps us avoid a lot of the road bumps we may hit along the way.
I believe retirement’s a transition to a new chapter of life that has its own challenges as well as joys. Being a success at it is more than a matter of saving up money and having a financial plan. Failing to plan for the mental, social, physical, and spiritual aspects of retirement could lead to:
- Enjoying it at first, but after a few years feeling something is missing
- Wasting the first few years wondering how you fit it, and what it all means
- Questioning your decision to retire, and wondering where it all went wrong
- Feeling isolated, unappreciated, and alone as your social environment changes
- Struggling with mental as well as physical challenges, and self medicating
Imagine a retirement that’s a new beginning, a time for reinventing yourself. You might pursue things you’ve been putting off because you didn’t have time for them when you were working. You view retirement realistically, but are optimistic about the future because you see it as a time to pursue new opportunities. You know that there will be challenges and losses, but you’ve developed a resilience that allows you to deal with adversity and find happiness, personal growth and purpose in the second half of life.
So why do we struggle with envisioning and realizing a meaningful and purposeful retirement? It often starts with the negative assumptions about retirement that we inherit from our families, or that we’ve been taught over the years by a culture that sees retirement as the tail end of our lives, rather than as the start of something new.
I can help you overcome these challenges, by working on:
* Understanding your unconscious beliefs, motivations, and principles
* Clarifying your life purpose and goals for the second half of your life
* Proactively managing the issues that life will throw at you in retirement
* Using your purpose and goals to decide which life roles to increase and which to decrease
Why not schedule a free consultation today?
After a couple of false starts, I settled into a career in software technology at the age of 30. I ended up getting a Master’s degree in computer science a few years later, and spent 35+ years working in a variety of contexts as a manager and senior consultant, mostly involving software process development, enterprise technology training, and software quality assurance. But about midway through, I found myself burning out and wondered whether I should consider transitioning to a different career. So I worked with a career counselor, who had me take a preferences test. It suggested (among other things) counseling or clinical psychology as a field I might consider. That was way outside my current experience and education, so I shelved the possibility as an interesting one (but impractical at present) and continued on in my high-tech career. Better the devil I knew than the devil I didn’t know, I thought.
I had thought that I’d be able to work in high-tech as long as I wanted. But in my late 40s, I began to realize it was becoming increasingly difficult for older people in high-tech careers to find new positions, and decided it was time to revisit the possibility of a career change — to something I could do as I aged. I went to another career counselor, and the results were the same as they had been over a decade before: I needed to consider a career in counseling. But I hadn’t taken a single psychology course as an undergraduate. So I spent the next few years researching schools and programs, and taking psychology prerequisites at various local colleges to prepare for the application process. I entered a Master’s program in clinical psychology in 2000, at the age of 53 — and got an internship and then a full-time position when I graduated at a medium sized mental health agency.
That’s where I became interested in the relatively new field of life/executive coaching, which I hadn’t heard of before. Several of my coworkers and I started a lunchtime group where we researched and discussed coaching, and shared our experiences in taking training in coaching techniques. I went on to become a Board Certified Coach through the Center for Credentialing and Education, the same organization that had licensed me as a therapist. I ended up returning to a high-tech position and coached individuals who were looking at career transitions as a sideline.
In my 50s, I put away as much in my 401K as my budget allowed, taking advantage of my employer’s matching policy. When I hit my early 60s, I started thinking seriously about retirement for the first time in my life — researching Medicare, Social Security, and developing a detailed retirement budget — deciding where I wanted to live in retirement, and what I wanted to do. My goals were to develop my coaching process as a “retiree” (a word that may have outlived its usefulness for many of us), and get back into writing nonfiction. I learned a lot in the process — and my experiences have been invaluable in working with clients like yourself.