Archive for category Retirement 2.0

Midlife Crisis OUT – Midlife Transition IN!

Midlife crisis is so passe. Much like the old version of retirement is, well….old.  Today,  boomer mid-life is all about transition and new beginnings. 

Don’t take my word for it. Here’s what others ‘in the know’ are saying. According to an article in ScienceDaily, adults in their mid-life years really do face the ‘best time to flourish and grow’. Second acts are possible!

Prof. Carlo Strenger of Tel Aviv University’s Dept. of Psychology co-authored an article with Israeli researcher, Arie Ruttenbergfor the Harvard Business Review and Psychoanalystic Psychology. 

Somehow this line has been drawn around the mid and late ’40s as the time for a mid-life crisis in our society,” says Strenger. “But as people live longer and fuller lives, we have to cast aside that stereotype and start thinking in terms of mid-life transition’ rather than ‘midlife crisis’.

If you make fruitful use of what you’ve discovered about yourself in the first half of your life, the second half can be the most fulfilling,” he adds.

Ohhhh….they sooooo speak my language. Hello, hello!!!  (Okay – now visualize me now jumping up and down, flapping my hands)…. This is what I’ve been saying and what UNretiredLife can be all about! Transition….Fullness of life…New beginnings….leveraging what is already there….and more. This is what defines the ‘new retirement’ (UNretiredLife) for boomers with zip. Decline is out….flourishing is in!

Butterfly by Eileen Chadnick --- freedom, transformation, beauty!

Butterfly by Eileen Chadnick --- freedom, transformation, beauty!

TIPS TO MIDLIFE TRANSITION: The authors offer tips for how to avoid a mid-life crisis which are completely aligned with the coaching approach and philosophy of UNretiredLife: In a nutshell…

1) Invest sincere thought in the fact that you have more high quality adult years ahead of you then behind you.  Big Cheese Coaching (UNretiredLife) coaching programs facilitate this reflection with guidance and a snapshot (via assessments and conversation) of one’s attitudes towards age and retirement and more. Success begins with the right frame of mind! We check in on that and support you in reframing where necessary!

2) Think about what you’ve learned about yourself so far and what your strongest abilities are….and things that most please you. Yes, yes…..audit for personal strengths and values and passions….we do not pass “go” without this important reflection and capturing what makes you tick.  Strengths/success/personal awareness — do not leave home without this!

3) Don’t be afraid of daunting obstacles in making changes. Once you realize how much time you have left in this world, you will find it’s worth making the investment.  A wonderful prompt to a “make it happen”  attitude….life has a lot of ‘road’ left….how do you want to be in that part of your journey. It ain’t over yet. Keep on truck’n!

4) Finally – make use of a support network.  Ahem…..err….care to chat? Retirement coach at your service!  Give me a call:)

To you and your UNretiredLife! Are you ready to create your own version yet?

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Rethink Retirement Survey says….

Desjardin Financial Security recently released its 8th annual Rethink Retirement(TM) survey and re-affirmed the notion that retirement ‘aint what it used to be’.

More than three in ten people between ages 53 and 62 said they were more than five years away from retirement, and only 23% hope to stop working completely once they retire.  These two points alone re-affirm what UNretiredLife has been saying: retirement may have nothing to do with old notions – like stopping work completely. This phase of life is being turned upside down!

Transition to Retirement vs. Hard Break: The old paradigm of retirement saw people go from full time work to complete retirement.  Today, more and more are taking a more phased approach and transitioning their work life.  According to the survey:

  • 16% of retirees continue gainful employment
  • 8% of today’s workers (including partial retirees) were once fully retired before returning to work. This proportion rises to 42% among partial retirees.
  • The main reasons for going back to work: needing more money for personal projects (46%) and wanting to counter the negative effects of economic situation on retirement income (29%).

Hmmm. “Needing more money for personal projects”. That last bit  intrigues me.  As per some of UNretiredLife’s earlier posts – boomers will not be retiring on the porch. They have plans, needs, aspirations!

While it’s no secret the economy has had an impact on Canadians’ nest eggs, that ‘personal project’ part echo’s some of the  ‘meaning-seeking ‘ mantra of boomers and other research finding’s (SunLife Financial’s UNretirement Index released January 2009).  

In Sunlife Financial’s UNretirement Index survey released in January 2009, “Nearly half of working Canadians said they believe they will be working past the traditional retirement age of 65.  This is in sharp contrast to the average Canadian retirement age of 61 in recent years. Nearly all of those who expect to work beyond age 65 cite one or more lifestyle reasons, including remaining mentally active, enjoyment of their jobs and the interaction with their co-workers.”

Now don’t get me wrong: the financial side of retirement is and always will be critical to one’s success and fulfillment in their retirement years. I’m a  huge proponent of financial planning (it’s a big part of my professional life!). But it’s not the only lens to view ‘what needs to happen to ensure success in retirement’.  Boomers will continue to engage in work, career, and a whole range of activities for both financial reasons AND to derive meaning from their life.

….which opens up a whole new dimension to retirement planning doesn’t it? …and that’s why were are here :)….to help boomers vision and create their own version of retirement.

To your UnretiredLife!


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Paradigm Shift in Retirement

There is a paradigm shift in the retirement landscape. And with paradigm shifts, comes the call for new thinking, new questions and new dimensions in how we plan and approach this life stage once called retirement.

What does this mean – and more importantly, what does this mean for you?!?

“Paradigm” (as defined by Thomas Kuhn) means a mental model or a set of beliefs through which we view the world.  The traditional beliefs around retirement that previous generations held – are no longer true for the boomers who are the next generation of ‘retirees’. They are shunning the ‘model’ and redefining what it means to be in this life stage  — which can actually turn out to be the longest in duration than any other life stage (20-30+ years for earlier ‘retirees’).

The Old Model of Retirement: This ‘version’ implied complete cessation of work, the ending chapter of one’s life, a time to finally rest. The problem for so many retirees is that this ‘resting arena’ leads to a gradual slide away from a full and engaged life. This version too often results in disengagement in life, boredom, loneliness, loss of confidence — and for many people health issues (separate or related to the above).  How many people do you know who retired after vibrant careers only to find themselves ‘lost’ and a fraction of who they used to be? Too many people withered away not because of their actual age — but because of how they view their age….and defined their life at this stage.

No wonder today’s boomers are saying ‘not for me!’

The New Retirement: is a 180 degree shift. The page is completely refreshed and it defies the notion that life’s greatest value declines as we age older. The new retirement sees life in a more circular way with continuous exploration, mastery, growth and contribution. The new retirement values life meaning at all stages — and no less so in this life stage. This new model promises an expanded version of life vs a contracted one. This paradigm says no to ‘winding down’ and yes to ramping up — new goals, dreams, actualization and paths that fulfill and make for a meaningful and satisfying life….whatever that may mean to you. This version recognizes that you will have your own unique version of meaningful retirement.

Sounds good – but how do you get it?  Most boomers seem to  instinctively know they don’t want the old version. Unfortunately, they are not sure how to get that. They are stuck at a cross roads with understanding the old version yet not wanting it — and not quite understanding the new version yet wanting it!

So how do you get in?

Start by asking the right questions.  At UNretiredLife/Big Cheese Coaching, we will help you (through coaching, this blog and our many other programs). There are at least 15 factors that will impact the retirement you create for yourself and the likelihood that it will measure up to what you deem a successful and meaningful retirement.

A  Few Questions to Start the Reflection:

1) What do you see as the ideal retirement that will keep your motivation, interests, values and personal strengths appropriately fired up?

2) How much do you attach your own personal identity and sense of personal worth to your current work and role? What happens when that changes? Who will you be if not doing what you currently do?

3) How do you view the notion of retirement? What assumptions might you challenge so you can clear the path and create a retirement that works for you?

 Retirement (or whatever you call life stage….we like to called it ‘UNretiredLife”) is too important to wing.  These and other questions serve to prompt important reflection that will help in the planning process.

Plan? Oh yeah….that’s an important facet too.  Retirement planning is about more than the financial side of things (although that is still and always an important part of retirement success). Remember: if you ‘fail to plan you plan to fail’.  Now you wouldn’t want to do that would you?

Join in the conversation….we’ll be here for quite a while.


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