What does retirement mean to you?
A new era of retirement is being ushered in with Boomers. If you’re not sure how to define what retirement should be, you’re in good company. Boomers are experiencing a different kind of retirement than in previous generations. They see this time as an opportunity to create more purpose in their lives. Part of the answer is found in the way Boomers were raised and lived their lives.
- Boomers grew up in times of relative prosperity, not the great depression.
- Boomers accessed higher education in large numbers, a luxury for their parents.
- Boomers focused on career building, their parents on building communities.
- Boomers married later, had fewer children, compared to previous generations.
- Boomers pushed the boundaries on social issues, previous generations complied.
- Boomers think globally, previous generations focused locally.
- Boomers are game changers, more than in previous generations.
These events have had a profound impact and shaped this new generation of retirees, which is why Boomers are looking to re-define the meaning of retirement.
- Boomers are living longer and healthier.With constant advancements in medicine, life expectancy continues to rise. Boomers can expect to be healthy and active well into their 80’s or 90’s. With all that time ahead, new passions will be ignited and pursued with gusto. They will be looking for ways to contribute to society in very meaningful ways, until the very end. Boomers will never go gently into the good night; it’s not part of their DNA.
- Boomers are working longer.With limited financial resources, big dreams and a longer life span, Boomers are rethinking retirement. Many want to continue working to stay active, connected and challenged. With a looming shortage of young workers to replace the bulge of retiring boomers, organizations are beginning to embrace this generation as a new source of highly valued and experienced talent to fill the gap.
- Boomers are compelled to redefine “retirement”. Boomers love to re-invent things. No matter what you call it – Second Act, Un-Retirement, Next Chapter, Autumn Years — the rule book on retirement will be re-written by a generation that is still as idealistic today as they were in the sixties; an idealism now tempered with a good dose of wisdom. Perhaps the Spanish word for retirement, Jubilación which means a time of celebration and rejoicing, is a more fitting word for this generation.
Long bucket lists and unfinished business to fulfill
Boomers have long bucket lists and unfinished business to tackle. It’s not a honey-do list, nor does it include watching reruns of long ago shows, lawn bowling and bingo night. This new bucket list is more likely to be filled with new things to try, risks to take and journeys to embark upon. It might include volunteering in foreign countries, starting new careers or new businesses. Boomers have unlimited dreams to chase, passions to pursue, new languages to learn, new places to experience, and new challenges to tackle. They want to be fully immersed in their children’s and grandchildren’s lives.
Boomers want it all and the most important question they ask is, “What’s possible?” That’s why Boomers are working with coaches to figure out what is possible. It’s no secret that a solid financial plan is critical to support a comfortable retirement. But it’s not enough. A lifestyle plan is as critical to create the retirement lifestyle you want. Otherwise, how will you know if your financial plan is the right one and if it will meet your unique needs?
A time to re-frame, re-focus and re-discover
This time of life, more than any other, requires a re-framing of old beliefs, the willingness to challenge old assumptions and build even more resilience. Aging is all about change.
- Physical changes occur, and we are forced to adapt.
- Intellectual changes occur unless we continue build new neural pathways.
- The need for social interaction becomes even more important as we age.
- Spiritual changes occur as we seek a broader understanding of our values.
Asking the right questions
A multitude of new questions must be asked as we prepare for this important transition; questions about these areas of your life and many more:
- Health and leisure
- Work and finances
- Relationships and community
There are also uncomfortable “what if” conversations to be held with spouses and family members about:
- Wills and estate planning
- Long-term care and medical directives
- End of life care and funeral wishes
These aren’t easy conversations to have and they aren’t fun. But they can make decisions less stressful and reduce potential conflicts for your family. Working with a coach can make this difficult task easier for you and your loved ones.
The last think Boomers want to do is waste the most productive retirement years trying to figure out what it should look like or if they can afford what they want. They want to create amazing living legacy for their loved ones. They want to get the most out of your retirement. The day is fast approaching when we will no longer ask: When are you retiring? Instead, we will ask: What‘s next for you? Creating the lifestyle they really want will help Boomers squeeze every last drop of juice out of their retirement.
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