Do you know what you want to do when you retire? Do you have a bucket list of places you want to visit? Or maybe it is new skills you want to learn? Some of you are likely too young to have even given retirement much thought.
But this week I was helping a friend facilitate a group of over 50s who had signed up for her Dare to Dream eight-week program. It was interesting to learn why people had signed up for the program.
Many were already retired but not really sure what they wanted to do next. Others were looking for direction and another group were curious and looking for their next adventure, but weren’t sure what it would be.
I think one of the challenges is that what we do, is so tied up with who we think we are. So if we are at a crossroads and don’t have that identity to cling on to, it can leave in a quandary, wondering just who you are.
At seventy perhaps you want to leave a legacy, and I can see that. When you know you only have 10+ number of years left on this planet, it could be important to you to make a difference, to leave your mark.
As someone in her 69th year, I am already a senior and collect my Canada pension. But I waffle about when I want to retire. On days when I am busy, sick or exhausted by work, the next day would be fine. But when I am with a vibrant group of women and we are having a thoughtful conversation, I think not yet.
Part of my indecision I think is I don’t know what I would do next and I would want to have something lined up. Heaven forbid I slow down and do nothing! But I know myself and I do think you want to make your last chapter meaningful, which maybe speaks to why over 40 people signed up for the Dare to Dream program.
We are all searching for something. When we are competent at what we do, it’s hard to go back, be vulnerable and learn something new. But is that attitude holding us back? We could be missing out in discovering something new about ourselves.
All of this reflection tells me that we need to give some serious thought to this topic of retirement. Last thing we want is to be home and depressed. In the UK I worked in HR, and would be responsible for getting the pension and benefits package in place for people retiring. Sad to say, sometimes only weeks later we would receive news that the retired employee had died. That’s not what we want.
And as for the people in the course, they’ve told us they want direction and an action plan in place by the end of the eight weeks. No pressure.
Company of Women
I have had an eclectic career from running non-profit organizations and being editor of a national magazine, to working for government on women’s issues. In 2003 I launched Company of Women, an organization that supports women in business. A prolific blogger, I also write for the Huffington Post, and several other online publications. I am the author of five books on women and entrepreneurship, and co-author of Good Enough. Embrace who you are. Unleash your brilliance. which is available on amazon.ca In June, 2016 I launched Full Circle Publishing offering one-stop services to get your words out into the world.