3 Keys to Help You Enjoy Life in Retirement on Your Own Terms
There are three paths Baby Boomers are increasingly walking so they can live their own dreams before they die. These keys have the potential to completely change your life – if you choose to use them.
Use Your Creativity to Find Your Voice and Express It
Creativity separates us from machines. Women who have made a satisfying midlife career change know that creativity is their ‘secret sauce.’ We’re all creative. In midlife, we’re getting back in touch with it.
Our inner soul craves expression, and we feel an urge to create something new – something we’ve never done before. We want to leave behind some kind of mark that shows we were here.
Women who heed the call of creativity are rewarded with more fun, physical and mental well-being, connection with others and an outlet for self-expression.
How to Get Started
Keep a journal of your random thoughts. Doodle in it and include your musings and favourite quotes. Over time, your writing will give voice to your inner creativity and help you focus your ideas.
Find a creative outlet you’d like to experiment with, such as painting, quilting, photography, live theatre, weaving or a discussion group. This can help you live with meaning and may lead to a second career.
Develop a Self-Employment Income from Something You Enjoy
Women age 55+ are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs. They can finally work at something they enjoy that allows them to set their own hours. It gives them the freedom to travel when they want – rather than waiting for an employer to grant time off.
Self-employment allows you to express more of who you are, to use your favourite skills and is a chance to use more of your creativity.
Small is beautiful. Midlife women know they don’t need to create a million-dollar business. Financial security comes from having more than one source of income.
Many choose fulfilling work to follow a lifelong dream and to create an income to top up a pension plan. Creativity and self-employment go hand-in-hand.
How to Get Started
Get rid of stuff that keeps you feeling trapped. We all have stuff we hold onto that’s not necessary. It is consuming ‘energetic space’ in your life. Sell stuff you don’t use or enjoy – or give it away to someone who can use it.
Spend some quiet time in nature to get in touch with your heart and intuition along with what you really want from the next stage of your life. Stay open to the unexpected. Re-assess the direction you are headed as new information comes to you.
I left a government-funded position in career counselling when I realized helping women write resumes and cover letters was not helping them fulfill their dreams. It was keeping them feeling trapped in a life they didn’t want.
I wrote a book, then started offering workshops and an online course and have now partnered with an artist to host retreats to help women design the life they want to live.
Travel for Less Than It Costs to Stay at Home
I was overjoyed at the prospect that I could live on less when traveling, than staying at home. Women are spending time in countries with a lower cost of living, housesitting or swapping homes to save on accommodation.
The #1 dream of many boomer women is to have more time for travel and adventure. Savvy women have combined travel with creativity and self-employment and are taking their portable employment ideas on the road.
We’re using travel to broaden our perspective, reframe our views on life, learn from other cultures and creative entrepreneurs around the world.
Painters, writers and photographers are always looking for new worlds to explore. They immerse themselves in a different culture and then bring it home in their work. You can do the same.
Just for Fun
Let’s see which travel movie reflects the travel experience you’d most like to have.
- In Thelma & Louise, two best friends set out on an adventurous road trip. This is a best buddy road trip for women.
- Under the Tuscan Sun is the story of a woman who, after her marriage falls apart, goes on a 10-day trip to Tuscany and buys a villa in Italy on a whim.
- The movie Julie and Julia traces the life of Julia Child during her time in Paris – and cuts to present day New York City – where Julie blogs about cooking her way through Julia Child’s cookbook.
- Best Exotic Marigold Hotel follows a group of retirees who travel to India to live out their days in a retirement hotel. They get up to lots of antics.
- In The Way, a father walks the El Camino trail in Spain to honour his recently deceased son. He makes friends with strangers he meets along the way and re-examines his own life.
- A Map for Saturday is a travel documentary that follows a man who quits his job to travel around the world for a year and live out of his backpack. It shows that anyone can travel cheaply if they really want to.
- Eat, Pray, Love is the story of a woman who takes a trip abroad to “find herself.” She travels to Italy where she focuses on eating, to India where her focus is praying and to Bali, where she finds love. This book and movie have inspired many women to start their own journey.
- In The Bucket List two men meet after being diagnosed with lung cancer. Over the next three months, they go on an African safari, trek to an Everest base camp and fly over the North Pole. This movie caused many of us to create a bucket list and to start living it.
Which travel movie seems to reflect the travel experience you’d most like to have? What do you like about that kind of journey? Please share your thoughts and comments below.
Jan Moore is a Midlife Reinvention Coach who helps women enjoy more Travel, Adventure and Creativity. After 20+ years as a Career Counsellor and Workshop Facilitator, Jan transitioned into self-employment when she wrote the book Work On Your Own Terms in Midlife and Beyond.