In our parents’ days, people simply left the job they had held most of their lives and moved onto permanent vacation when they retired. But then, most of them never lived the additional 25 to 30 years anticipated for many of us boomers.

Medical science was not what it is now. Today, we are on the brink of finding solutions to cancer, and cardiology – with its surgical counterpart – is making breakthroughs on a regular basis, to mention just two aspects.

This, coupled with the fact that so few of us have sufficient money invested to fund a retirement of 20 to 30 years, is leading to the fact that we must change our way of thinking. I read a frightening statistic the other day, stating that one in three Americans has no retirement savings whatsoever.

 
 

Living a Multi-Stage Life

The book The 100-year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity
proposes that we move away from the current model of three life stages that take us from education to work and on to retirement. We should consider a multi-stage life with two or three different career paths.

The first phase in the work stage, in most cases, would involve maximizing finance by working long hours and gaining experience that one can use to maximize income.

The second phase may involve balancing work with a family life, and positioning your career around jobs that make a strong social contribution. This could happen as one reaches the 60s.

A Career Change in My 60s?

Here is a reality check for many of us retirees. If we want to maintain the lifestyle we have built over many years of working, we are going to need to supplement our retirement income.

A career change in one’s 60s requires one to be flexible, acquire new knowledge, explore new ways of thinking and see the world from a different perspective, all the while building new networks.

All of this should happen at a stage in our lives where our parents’ generation taught us we would be unwinding and relaxing! This is not easy to tackle on your own.

A Retirement Coach Can Help

That is where retirement coaching comes in. The coach will ask you the right questions to get you thinking out of the box.

As a result, you will be able to look at your strengths and skills, and ring-fence the ones you particularly enjoy doing. Then, together with a coach, you will package these into a flexible, working solution that fits into your age-appropriate lifestyle.

I had worked most of my life in physically intensive environments – Occupational Therapy, hospitality, farming. When I found myself unexpectedly retired at 60, I embarked on a career as a Life Coach.

This has allowed me to tailor my work hours to my lifestyle (not the other way around). I have also found a new passion for writing. The topic of retirement is quickly developing and evolving, so it is fertile ground for writing.

I published my first book last year, and have another one incubating. Most recently, I have embarked on the steep learning curve of understanding social media marketing.

Doing all of this on my own has taken me nearly four years, but fortunately, I have had the financial means to support myself. Not everyone has that luxury.

In my coaching practice, I have found that some people who are not familiar with negotiating major transitions (typically those who have worked for years in the same job), need a little nudge to enable them to fly. This little nudge is what my retirement coaching can offer.

How do you want to spend your retirement years? Have you used a coach to help you navigate your retirement? Did you undertake a new career in your 60s? Would you ever consider hiring a retirement coach? Please share your experiences below.

Hilary HendersonHilary Henderson is a Retirement Coach. She brings to her coaching her experience as an Occupational Therapist as well as an entrepreneur. Her mission is to help people find relevance, purpose and meaning in their retirement years. Facebook is one way to reach out to her.

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