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Retirement coaching: how to plan and build a new life

I’ve hesitated to offer retirement coaching as part of my services, despite more than twenty years of experience in helping clients relocate for retirement. I finally realised that my desire to help clients live their best life should not be limited to working professionals or entrepreneurs. Retirement is merely one more change and pivot we make in life, so I’m stepping up to offer all my experience and wisdom in helping clients find the best path to this transition!

Retirement is one of life’s biggest challenges to our identity and how we view ourselves. It impacts almost every area of life:

  • your social network and relationships;
  • how you plan and manage your time;
  • your identity and how you see and define yourself;
  • your interests and hobbies; and
  • the purpose and meaning you have in your life.

It doesn’t matter if you’re thirty-five or sixty-five years old: only you define what happiness and well-being mean in your life.

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The expert in your life and purpose is you!

My role as a retirement transition coach is to guide you toward the answers you already have. Sometimes, I might ask questions you hadn’t even considered: you don’t know what you don’t know.

Your retirement plan: planning more than just finances

Having a financial plan for your retirement is essential. But that’s not the only important aspect to consider!

When you plan your retirement, you should examine your health, lifestyle and dreams. Your retirement planning will begin with a simple examination of your values and what’s important to you in your next life stage.

At this stage, we might consider the importance of the following ingredients of a life well-lived:

  • The crucial relationships in your life – your inner circle of friends and family;
  • Finding meaning and purpose – do you have a burning desire to do something more?
  • developing and building new relationships or building a new social network;
  • discovering new interests and hobbies; and
  • your health and well-being.

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Retirement transition coach: overcoming your identity crisis!

One of the biggest challenges at retirement is losing an essential component of your identity: your professional identity. Who are you if you are no longer your role, responsibilities and title?

Many people retire with ideas of “going fishing” and “living at the beach”, etc. It works fantastic for the first couple of months until the novelty wears off, and they are hit with the despair of “who am I?”.

Before you hit that low after the honeymoon period of your after-work holiday, let’s redefine your life’s purpose and who you are!

There’s no need to get caught in the stress and anxiety of not knowing who you are!

A life coach for retirement: helping you define happiness and well-being

As with any client, I’m going to ask you to come up with a new definition of success and well-being. I’ll ask you to consider the following areas of your life:

  • health and fitness;
  • relationships – family, friends, and spouse/significant other;
  • fun, hobbies and recreation;
  • physical environment;
  • finances;
  • purpose & meaning;
  • spiritual practices;
  • community; and
  • personal growth and learning.

We’ll answer the question – “If your retirement life were ideal:

  • Who would you be spending time with?
  • Where would you be?
  • what would you be doing? and
  • how would you invest your time and energy?”

Planning your retirement after brainstorming these questions helps you avoid the phrase “mistakes were made“.

Retirement coaching is not estate planning.

Depending on your situation, we may delve into questions about your heart’s desires for your estate and what you need to do to organise your assets. But that’s not the primary focus of a plan for your retirement. It’s just one of the many issues you must consider moving forward.

When we’re finished, you should have the confidence of knowing that you have considered and weighed up the many aspects that constitute retirement:

  • What will you do?
    • Are you planning to set up a new business or enterprise?
    • What are your plans for volunteering and giving time to your community?
    • Do you plan to mentor or share your knowledge and experience with others?
    • What hobbies and activities are you interested in pursuing?
    • Will you go “back to school” and learn something new?
  • Where will you live?
    • Will you continue to live in your current town or city, or do you have plans to move?
    • Are you thinking of becoming a snow bunny and moving away for the winter? Will you buy or rent?
    • Will you retire overseas to a warmer climate?
  • Who will you spend your time with?
    • Children and grandchildren?
    • Your social network and friends
    • Will you build a new social network and join new organisations?
  • Your finances and investments: what resources do you need for your retirement?
    • Will you hold property to live in, or will the property be a source of income and rentals?
    • Are your investments going to be liquid or fixed?
    • How much liquidity and income will you need for your retirement?
    • Will there be special capital needs that you should consider?
  • Immigration and residency: if you plan to relocate, we can deep-dive into the realities of living in another country.
    • What are their aged care systems and requirements for health insurance? How is that different to what you already have?
    • How easy is it to travel back and forth from your friends and family to this new location? How often will you travel?
    • What language barriers should you expect by moving to another country?
    • Will you be part of the ex-pat community, or do you want to live with the locals and experience their lifestyle?

Retirement coaching: what is your exit strategy?

Finally, we’ll discuss your exit strategy:

  1. exiting from your professional life into retirement; and
  2. exiting from active retired life into assisted care.

While we can’t answer all the unknown obstacles and challenges that you might face during retirement, we can have a brief look at two fundamental questions:

  • overcoming obstacles because of health challenges; and
  • facing unexpected difficulties with family members or significant others.

Life happens, and we can’t have all the answers ahead of time. But it is possible to have some general ideas and guidelines of how decisions will be made that align with your values and what is important to you.

Retirement coaching can guide you in choosing a decision-making process that allows others to help you.

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