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retirement anxiety

What Is Retirement Coaching?

By | Life, Retirement | No Comments

Retirement looks different than it used to, and the transition from the workforce can be a daunting one. The structure, social network, and routines that are left behind can leave a considerable void in people’s lives. It can be challenging so many older workers simply ignore, or put off planning for the emotional elements of their upcoming retirement. After all, like all unknowns, it can be uncomfortable…

Initially, it might be easy to imagine how retirement will look. After all, you may have been planning your bucket list for years. However, the bucket list and the excitement that it brings, might only sustain you for a time. At some point, the quest for excitement begins to wane and the desire for something more meaningful replaces it. Rather than racking up a series of once in a lifetime moments, the desire to engage in something meaningful comes to the fore.

People turn to a retirement coach when the notion of retirement brings up anxiety instead of excitement. The main goal of retirement coaching is to clarify not just what you’re going to do, but perhaps more importantly, who you are going to be. It’s important that we don’t under-estimate the importance of work in our lives. Work fulfills our deep human need for status, structure, money, friendship and so much more. For those that judge their self-worth by their work, retirement can appear to be empty, lonely and feel like a time of loss.

Coaching works to help us define ourselves outside of work, focus on what really matters, and begin to access other sources of fulfillment. A coach will help you begin to differentiate your corporate self from your authentic self by determining your values, dreams and talents that exist outside of your work. Since this may involve a deeper and more introspective kind of thinking than you’re used to, a coach can enhance this process with provocative questions and focused exercises.

Retirement can be a challenging transition. Working with a coach can help you reframe your current vision of retirement and work towards a more positive appreciation of what lies ahead. Clarifying values, leveraging strengths, and challenging perspectives are all part of the role of the coach in helping you design a meaningful retirement. Creating an action plan that puts into practice new skills and perspectives keep you moving toward the meaningful life that is richly deserved in retirement. A coach works alongside you to encourage you, see things inside you that you might not even be aware of, and keep you accountable to your goals. Retirement is no longer regarded as a time of decline, but rather as an opportunity to live your best life. If a coach can help you do that, then why not?

 

Retirement Anxiety… Why Do I Have This?

By | Retirement | No Comments

It’s coming. Can’t stop it. You’re excited right? Who wouldn’t be excited about retiring?

Retirement Anxiety

What do you mean retirement anxiety? It’s not as if you didn’t know it was going to happen. For something as fully predictable as retirement, it’s shocking how many of us are overwhelmed at the notion of leaving our old lives behind. Or is it that we’re just not sure of what lies ahead?

In my retirement coaching practice, my clients routinely express a generalized anxiety about their approaching retirement. Not surprisingly, the ones who don’t feel that way, have been planning their retirement for years and have a pretty clear idea of what it’s going to look like. Most of us find it difficult to think in the long term, and retirement is long term; it can last longer than your working life. We tend to procrastinate, because we have the illusion that we will have more time tomorrow. But retirement eventually comes, and without a great plan in place, so too comes the anxiety…

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Why Do You Have It?

 Retirement anxiety tends to surface when individuals are asked to visualize how the rest of their lives might look. How will you spend your days? Who will you spend them with? Where will you live? Even the most thoughtful amongst us may experience some anxiety when faced with these questions.

For years, our sense of worth and identity have revolved around the work that we do. It provided a sense of value, an identity, a social network, structure to our day, self-esteem and countless other benefits. It can be a shock when retirement arrives and you have nowhere to go, and nothing to do. It is only natural to grieve over the loss of something that took decades to build.

According to Richard P. Johnson, author of The New Retirement, “we must let go of our previous definition of ourselves and begin crafting a new definition that serves us in this new life we are carving for ourselves.” Without a successful resolution of this dilemma, we can suffer a loss of identity, boredom, and feelings of irrelevance.

And who wants that?

Is There A Cure?

 So, what’s the cure for retirement anxiety? Truthfully, it can be a daunting process, but it is manageable when started several years before you actually retire. The antidote to this anxiety is to redefine yourself well before you leave your work. The cure follows deep reflection and an attitude that retirement is a time of possibilities as opposed to a time of problems; a beginning and not an ending.

Redefine myself? How do I do that? Stay tuned…

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