For most of us, our work defines us. Work provides an income, arranges our schedules, provides us with an identity, and much–if not most–of our social connections. The transition from work to retirement is a significant change. The prevailing advice we receive, from the first professional job onwards, is to make a financial plan for retirement. However, few have been encouraged to develop a plan for the non-financial realities of retirement. We seem to believe that if we have the financial means to retire, the rest will take care of itself. Financial security alone will not guarantee a successful or fulfilling retirement.
Retirement is less satisfying than it was in the past
The most recent data available suggests that retirement is less satisfying for people than it was in the past. In a study comparing retirement satisfaction in 1998 and 2012, fewer retirees were very satisfied and more retirees were not at all satisfied. While the shifts in satisfaction are not vast, the trend is disturbing. It is difficult to discover why this shift has taken place, yet it is noteworthy that it is happening. It is also worth recognizing that you can plan for and modify aspects of your life that are most likely to impact your retirement satisfaction.
Who is most at risk of a problematic retirement transition?
Despite a lack of formalized non-financial planning, the retirement transition is reasonably smooth for some, and for others, it can be quite tricky. There are a number of risk factors for having a difficult retirement transition.
Even if you do not recognize yourself in the above categories, you may recognize a need to be more intentional in thinking about and planning for your post “work” life. From whom do you seek advice and consultation?
How can a Retirement Transition Coach help?
Would you plan to build a house without consulting an architect? Do you do your taxes, or hire a CPA to assist you with this complex task? If you noticed a sharp recurring pain in your knee, would you visit a physician? None of us can be an expert in everything we encounter – so it is helpful to consult specialists who have helped others with similar problems. Even though we may read a book on home design, tax policy or joint problems – the expert consultant provides a level of assessment, knowledge and support that self-help does not provide. What specifically does retirement transition coaching provide?