Beginning the Journey of Retirement | Nan McKay

Prepare for Significance after 60! Find Out Where You Fit

The time has finally come to retire, refire, and transition to a new life.

The journey of “retirement” is a winding road. No one can predict when you will get to the end of it. No one can lay out exactly where and when you will come to roadblocks, bumps, and dead ends.

The road is different for each person. However, you can have some control over the prospective scenery of living experiences by thinking about defining what matters most to you. Who are you? What makes you feel significant? What do you want out of life? How can you plan for the years you have left so they count – YOU count – and you are happy?

It can be traumatic to leave the working world. When you were working, did you introduce yourself with your name and your position and company?

Do you see yourself as a grandma baking cookies for your grandchildren all day? Today’s career woman would generally say Hell, No! You may be 60, but you know the number doesn’t fit any pattern of rocking chairs and baking cookies. Grandma may be one of your roles, but it certainly doesn’t mean withdrawing from life. We still feel the energy to start a new chapter – a next act. But what will that look like?

You have probably stressed yourself out, thinking about the financial issues – will you have enough money to continue your lifestyle? Will you have enough money to take that river cruise up the Duoro River in Portugal? What am I going to do with the “extra” time I now have? If I have to spend all day with my spouse, can we do it without mayhem and murder? What impact do I want to make now that I don’t have to worry about climbing that next ladder to career success?

During your career life, you had a variety of roles. You may have been a spouse, a parent, a caretaker, a professional, a manager at work and home,

Rather than view your retirement decision as the one big decision you must make, consider that you make have a series of retirements along the journey. If you focus on the next steps, rather than dwelling on a single big picture, this view will provide permission to be proactive in the transition to a variety of roles and activities.


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