7 Questions To Ask Before You “Retire”

(Originally posted May 6, 2012)

There are so many questions to ask before you shift to that next life stage of work and life. In a recent interview with www.brighterlife.ca I pointed out a few. This resulted in an article called: “7 Questions To Ask Before You Retire

Just a note of clarification on one comment. The article said I encourage people to start asking themselves these questions when they turn 40. I realize 40 is a looong way from retirement for many. What I meant by that comment – is to start thinking in broad strokes about what might be of interest for your retirement. If you have an idea of what you want to do (work and life), you have more time to plan for it.

The specific questions that I offered in the article may not be the right ones to ask at age 40 — but asking some other related questions may be very helpful. I know this from my own experience.

For example – when I turned 40, I asked myself what I wanted to do for the next 20-25 years of work. This prompted a new career path for me that I transitioned into (vs. hard stop/hard start). Unbeknownst to me at the time, I actually began what will likely be my ‘retirement career’ when I do retire. Rather than waiting until I’m in my 60’s to try out a new career, I started at 40. I’m now 8 years into this career. I’ve created a foundation for a new career — alongside keeping a foothold in my initial career as I transitioned.

Some of you may need to do the same. Not everyone has the luxury to do the hard stop/hard start — particularly if the new career requires some re-tooling (education, learning new skills, building a biz).

Transition, test drives, learning along the way. Don’t wait until it’s ‘retirement day’ to start that process.

Anyways, just some food for thought! 🙂

To your success and wellbeing in the UNretiredLife!

No Comments

How To Develop Your Retirement Career While Still Working

(Reposted from April 2014)

Boomers – are you thinking you might like to explore a new career frontier after you ‘retire’ from your current job/career?

Many boomers are planning new careers. But for some, it’s not going to be a hard-stop, hard-start proposition. Many will do that ‘transition’ thing. Put a toe in the water of a new career, while still working at the ‘day job’. Perhaps trying something out part-time, or testing the waters.

Either way, it will take some juggling to manage the ‘new career’ with the day job.

As one of the Globe and Mail writers for the Ask a Career Coach feature, I wrote about this in my latest article. A reader asks, how can she manage two careers at once? She describes one as a ‘passion’ career. The other, her day job and she’s not willing to give up either.

READ MY ARTICLE HERE: How to Develop a Passion (or Retirement) Career Without Losing Focus on the Day Job

I wrote this from my own experience and ‘heart’. When I started my career in professional coaching (and related areas), I had a firm foot in my first career (communications). My career path has been all about balance and transition. Still is to a large extent.

Would love to hear from you? Do you have experience transitioning to a new career and holding two careers at once? What has worked? What challenges did you face? What other tips might you have?

To Your UNretiredlife!


, ,

No Comments

What Would You Do With an Extra 30 Minute a Day?

(reposted from January 28th, 2013)

Ahhh, the gift of time.  Imagine if you had an extra 30 minutes a day to do whatever you wanted? What would you do with that?

gift of time (microsoft image) MP900316551

Well the good people at Brighterlife asked me that very question. They were writing an article on the gift of time and asked me to share what I’d do in my free-found 30 minutes a day. Update: the article has just been posted – read it here!

An interesting question! I often say I’d like a 9-day week so I can squeeze in more of the stuff I want to do (both in work and life). When they asked me to think about an extra half hour my first reaction was ‘Only a half hour! Why not a full hour?’  But beggars can’t be choosers. 30 minutes more a day adds up to 3.5 more hours in a week.

What to do? So many choices and my first inclination was to be more productive. More writing; more work on my projects; more ‘doing’. But then I switched gears and decided to choose activities that were quite different.


No Comments

Career GPS Foundations Teleclass Program — Open for Registration

Ready for a new Career? Not sure how / where to start? 

Eventbrite - Career GPS Foundations Tele-class Program (7 weekly sessions)

New Career GPS Foundations Teleclass starts October 28th for 7 consecutive Wednesday pm sessions

Wondering what’s next for you in your career but feeling unsure how to proceed? How to know which way to go? How to get ‘there’ once you set your sights on where ‘there’ is? Navigating changes in your career can sometimes feel daunting and overwhelming – whether you are a career-changer; a career-starter or somewhere in between. Things have changed and may look different from the last time you went out to get a job or professional start.

How do you navigate this new landscape? You need a GPS!

Registration Now Open! The Big Cheese Coaching Career Foundations GPS Program (7 Teleclasses):


If you need a leg up in getting started in your career exploration process then this will be a great program for you. Whether you are ready to make a change now, soon, or at some point in the future – it’s important to learn the essential foundational ‘must-do’s and the ‘don’t do’s too.

Key Details:

  • The timing is seven Wednesday nights at 7:15pm – 8:30 (sometimes to 8:45 for Qs if there’s interest)
  • This is a teleclass format — with materials to support the learning provided
  • If you miss a class we will provide recordings (for registrants only)
  • Participants will have the option of whether or not to interact/and disclose their name to others…completely up to you (although interaction highly welcome)
  • Participants will also have access to one-on-one coaching support at a significantly reduced rate to further support their needs (optional add on)

CONTENT: Here are some of the themes that we will cover over the course of the 7 weeks

  • The five phases of career development / discover where you are and where you need to focus on
  • Inside-out discovery: learn about your values and use them to guide your choices and decision-making
  • Strengths-based career making: lost your confidence? Not sure what you have to offer? Learn different ways to reconnect with your strengths/accomplishments and bring this to light….not just for yourself but also in the narratives you bring to others
  • Boost your confidence authentically
  • Visioning and planning and common derailers when looking for the ‘perfect job/career’
  • Test drive your ideas
  • Resumes that work
  • Networking: the good, bad, ugly — learn how to do it right/when to do it/and how not to do it
  • Career navigation mojo – how to stay resilient when the job exploration/career vision is hitting road blocks

Interested? It’s always good to have a starting plan where-ever you are in the continuum of your career. Here’s to your career wellbeing. Are you game?  I am!  Scroll down and hit the REGISTRATION button to learn more.

Eileen Chadnick, PCC, ACPC, ABC

(Haven’t met yet? Check out my bios here)


Eventbrite - Career GPS Foundations Tele-class Program (7 weekly sessions)

No Comments

Fewer Canadians Plan to ‘Retire’ (Sunlife Unretirement Index)

Holy unretirement! This week was full of news on the Unretiredlife front. A new survey from Sun Life Financial revealed that the number of Canadians who expect to retire at age 66 has dropped to just 27 per cent. That’s a significant decline from 51 per cent when the survey first began in 2008. 



The Sun Life Financial’s annual Canadian UnretirementTM Index was released on Tuesday and made headlines across the country. The survey revealed that more Canadians are expecting to work past 66 because of necessity and fear of outliving their savings:  

63 per cent expect they will need to work past 66 compared with 37 per cent wanting to work. With Canadians expecting to be retired for an average of 20 years, over a third (38 per cent) say there is a serious risk of outliving their retirement savings.

Financial preparedness is becoming more salient as boomers approach the age when past generations would have retired.

Earlier this year, another survey came out that juxtaposed this fear of not being prepared for retirement — but only for a select group of Canadians. Guess what: they aren’t necessarily wealthier folks – they are Canadians who engage in comprehensive financial planning. And as a result these Canadians claim to have a GPS for their financial wellbeing. Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) conducted a study (the Value of Financial Planning) that said those who have comprehensive financial plans are far further ahead in their financial wellbeing (confidence, plans, savings, and more) than those who don’t plan or who only do limited planning.  This is for both the longer term (retirement) as well as for shorter term goals.

DISCLAIMER: I have a professional involvement with FPSC and helped write the release — but the research is clear and substantive. The proof is there…

Plan for your future. Hire a professional (a CFP professional ideally) and you will experience much more emotional and financial wellbeing both in your retirement and in every life stage along the way. 

Now that sounds like a plan!

Learn more:

Check out Brighterlife for some amazing tips and more information on the study. Brighterlife is part of the Sun Life group.

See further detail on Sun Life’s Unretirement Index here.

Find a CFP in your area and learn what to ask before engaging your planner.

To your wellbeing now and in your unretiredlife!



, , , ,

No Comments

“Retirees” set to outnumber newly hired…

Hmmm. Talk about a paradigm shift! Well, I’ve been talking about a paradigm shift (in this blog and elsewhere) for some time now but now we’ve got some hard core demographic stats that can’t be ignored.

Front page in yesterday’s Globe and Mail, the headline reads: “Baby bust: In the first, the newly retired outnumber the newly hired”

According to Statscan’s demographic division, at some point this year, the number of 15-24 year-olds will slip below the number of 55-64 year-olds.

Raises a lot of questions:

For boomers – will this cohort of ‘older’ workers influence the employment landscape to abolish (or reduce) ageism as employers struggle to retain talent?  And boomers – do you want to stay on in the workforce? Do you have to stay on due to financial reasons? What are your plans for staying on….change careers? Modify? Tweak? Or keep things exactly as they are for a while? If scaling back, what does your work-life portfolio look like?

Lots of questions with a call for planning. These are indeed interesting times!

To your UNretiredLife!



In related news, Sunlife

No Comments

Job Interview Skills (video)

How do you prepare for a job interview? One thing for sure — never wing it. Preparation is essential. And I made sure to make that point in a new video series on interview tips at Globe Careers.

The first video is up! A brief primer on how to prepare for your interview. Check it out and there are six more coming! I’ll post the others as soon as they air at my Big Cheese Coaching site and blog.

Read the rest of this post at Big Cheese Coaching Blog! Along with some news about new coaching/training programs in interview skills!


No Comments

New Home (website) for Big Cheese Coaching

Big Cheese Coaching has a new home! Well, to be more precise, a new website.

Lots of changes. For starters, the url has changed. We’ve lost our dash (our website used to be: www.bigcheese-coaching.com) and that dash…kinda slowed you down from getting there didn’t it?  The new site is now: www.bigcheesecoaching.com

What we lost in our dash, I hope we gained in splash…or appeal and more functionality!

– I’ve got a new blog right on the site (see www.bigcheesecoaching.com/blog)

-I’ll still be keeping this blog as well as my www.tgimworklife.com blog but  for now, lotsa of the ‘news’n’action’ will be over at my Big Cheese Coaching website and blog.

So please check it out and visit often. Lotsa, lotsa news there and in the queue!

Oh and a big shout of thanks to Joan Donough of In-Formation-Design who helped me build the next evolution of Big Cheese Coaching’s website. Couldn’t have done it without her! A fabulous, collaborative partner – I highly recommend her services.  And she’s a pleasure to work with.

Well – see you over ‘there’ real soon I hope!


No Comments

What if you live past 100?

Imagine this: it’s your 100th birthday. Your kids are coming to your birthday party. Your eldest son is 73 and your ‘baby’ is turning 71. Their kids are well into thier 40s and their children are expecting their first child…..

Huh? Did you catch all that? Well, if you are good at math that’s four generations all at the same party — and it could happen. An article (the Grey Tsunami) in the latest issue of Investment Executive highlights the sharp increase in number of people living past 100 — with many of the issues that go with that.  Disclosure: I was interviewed for this article and you will find a few quotes from yours truly.

The notion of living past 100 raises a lot of questions don’t you think? 

How are you planning for this potential longevity?

Is your financial plan up to snuff for the long-haul?

Is your life plan taking into account that your so-called ‘retirement’ years could last another 35-40 years?

What assumptions need to be challenged? Keep in mind your kids will be in their 70’s so assuming they will be able to care for you may or may not be the case.

This  all reminds me of a famous quote years ago from the late George Burns. He said (when he was in his 90’s): “If I’d known I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself”.

Well said. Here’s to taking care of yourself so you can live the good life well into your longevity. To your personal, professional and financial wellbeing.


No Comments

How Do You Define “Retirement”?

Well, if you’ve read any of this blog – then it will be no surprise that the notion of retirement is changing. And with it – perhaps a new ‘official’ definition is in order? TD Bank is inviting Canadians to submit their definition of retirement in a contest that ends September 26. 

To submit your definition go to www.redefineretirement.ca and if you’d like to read the news release for more detail – click here.

Personally, I think the word ‘retire’ should be retired (s’cuse the pun…it was intentional). And instead of a new definition of retirement, we need a new word to describe this phase of life. Wanna know mine? You guessed it:


Yup, the anti-thesis of ‘retiring’ and rather than ending a chapter we are simply shifting gears. Still full of life!

To your UNretiredLife….and with personal and professional (if you choose) wellbeing in all phases of life!



No Comments