As a coach who helps people build strategies for successful retirements, it’s only natural that I give my own retirement ample consideration. Growing up with parents who checked out during retirement; opting for a life of golf and social activities, that was my expectation too. I always anticipated retirement would mean spending my days with my husband and grandchildren simply having fun and traveling. Well, life hasn’t turned out that way.
I now find myself much closer to retirement, unmarried, no children and every glimmer of that previous dream gone. And, I’m redefining what ‘retirement’ means to me. It’s not sipping iced tea on the front porch rocker anymore. It’s living a vibrant, active life doing what I choose, spending my days as I choose, working as much or as little as I choose. I like where I am. I am independent, able to make my own choices, having built a successful and fulfilling career. Would it be better married with grandchildren? Maybe, but that’s not the life I was dealt. I accept my situation and have learned to make the most of it, even relish it.
Today, as I look ahead to my own retirement, I see a very different life than I did as a child. I now see myself continuing my leadership consulting and career and retirement coaching, but on my terms – part time, with ample breaks throughout the year. I also see lots of travel, time with friends, and volunteering for causes near and dear to my heart. I see an active retirement, full of purpose and meaning, continuing to share my gifts to improve the lives of others.
This is the retirement many of my generation now see. As 10,000 baby boomers reach age 65 every day, I am not alone. I was drawn to retirement coaching because I wondered what I would do with my own retirement, But as I learned more about how it works, the gift of helping others find meaning and fulfillment in their retirement pushed me ahead as I earned my certification. Clients come to me seeking a variety of answers. From resolving the fear of stepping away from their job to how to provide for aging parents and adult children, to caring for health issues.
There are 6 life arenas we assess: Work, Health, Finance, Relationships, Leisure and Personal Development. Often, a person has struggles in one or more of these arenas. After completing an assessment, we identify the areas of focus for the coaching to address. My own struggles had to do with not having a relationship and worrying about financial stability. Both ended up being worries I was able to work through. I now find myself content, and even grateful, to be single and have the ability to make my own choices. And finances? Well, lo and behold; all those years I stashed money into my retirement accounts, Roth accounts, and IRAs have provided me the means to ‘retire’ when that day comes.
So, yes, as I work with my clients, helping them to define what their retirement looks like, I can look ahead to my own with anticipation and joy.
Andrea's passion is to see you achieve your professional dreams. Whether you are a corporate leader seeking leadership development for your employees or an individual seeking guidance in building your career or preparing for retirement, she will coach you to success.