Take a moment to envision retirement. How will you fill your days? Where will you live? How will you stimulate your intellect? What will you do all day, every day?
We need to make plans for when we don’t have an office to go to every day. Work provides a sense of purpose and mastery that’s often missed in retirement. If we don’t have people who pat us on the back once in a while, where will it come from? It blindsides people. Alcoholism rates are going up with boomers because they’ve retired and have no purpose. We need to talk about this!
Making a transition into this new stage of life takes planning. It took me a few years to adjust and be okay with it. You probably put a lot of thought into other life stages such as attending college, getting married, starting a business, or having children. Ensuring your later years are rich and rewarding depends on that same level of focus.
This last January, I blogged about using the word ‘transition’ instead of ‘retirement’. We’re healthy, vibrant people who need intellectual and social stimulation. Whether a shared-living community such as Vibrante is part of your future or you don’t yet know what’s to come, it’s time to start considering how you will make a successful transition.
Ditch the old-fashioned way of thinking that says our senior years are merely a time to slow down and relax. Instead, I encourage boomers to think about filling their days with volunteer work or other engaging clubs and activities. Prepare for this transition by surrounding yourself with like-minded people who are excited to follow their curiosity and find new passions. These are a few ways to ensure our later years are just as rewarding as our earlier years.
When you began your career, you may have had a mentor to inspire you. Now is the time to find a role model or mentor who emulates positive aging. Then create your own transition plan by asking yourself some important questions.
● Where will you live?
● Will you continue to work part time?
● Do you need to find a group of like-minded people?
● How will you stimulate your intellect?
● Will you live close to family/kids?
● How is your physical health?
● How do you feel about income change or not receiving a paycheck?
● How will you spend your time?
● What gives meaning to your life?
● To whom will you matter?
● Who will you interact with and socialize on a regular basis?
● How will you feed your physical body and soul?
● Do you have a back-up plan?
● Can you afford to retire?
You aren’t the same person you were when you were just starting out in life. You’re wiser and more experienced. Use these questions to discover who you are now, and what you need in your daily life to feel happy and fulfilled. And if you don’t have a mentor or role model, give me a call! I’d love to discuss this list over a cup of coffee. With anticipated openings at Vibrante in June 2020, now might be the perfect time to begin planning if you think our community would be right for you.