Retirements Don’t Just Happen — We Have to Make Them Happen
I expected retirement to simply appear fully formed just turn the work switch off and the retirement switch on. But I was wrong, really wrong! Then I got the proverbial “hit upside the head” that Retirements don’t just happen, we have to make them happen. The only things that “just happen” are chaos, disorder and failure. It became quickly apparent that I needed to both identify and then replace commonly accepted retirement myths and misinformation with “fact-based” truths and realities. Creating two new and integrated retirement models—Retirement’s Six Fundamental Building Blocks and Retirement’s Ages and Stages allowed me to redefine the retirement experience by developing an entirely new paradigm for moving seamlessly from work to retirement and beyond. Our primal obsession with gathering financial assets, to the exclusion of building our intellectual, social, physical, health and emotional assets, is actually a diversion that can derail our retirements. Bottom line, we all can live socially rich, emotionally balanced, intellectually nourishing and physically challenging and healthful retirements no matter the size of our bank accounts. This is not hyperbole — this is the new retirement reality.
Real People with Real Lives
While retirement can, indeed, be our “real wonder years,” the transition from work to retirement can, in the beginning, be one of the most challenging periods of our lives because of: (a) uncertainty about our futures; (b) loss of structure work provided; (c) reduced income; (d)disrupted social networks; (e) discomfort with our aging selves; and, (f) overly optimistic expectations of how easy, joyful and fulfilling our retirements will actually be. Retirement is one of life’s most pivotal events— some will find it unsettling while others welcome it with open arms; perhaps, naively unaware of the traps, dangers and missteps that await us in this sometimes complex and scary world.