Topic: Freedom and Flexibility: How would that feel?
I love to see my clients go from WOE to WOW. I work with nurturing professionals, mostly teachers and social workers,55 years and older, assisting them to implement the non-financial transition to retirement strategies. Working together enables my clients to plan a meaningful retirement with clarity.
I’m sure you are good at your job and it has provided you with a sense of satisfaction and intrinsic rewards for a long time. If you work in the nurturing professions such as education, health and Social Work the intrinsic rewards are highly valued as well as the full time pay cheque. This may make it difficult for you as a professional to envisage a life outside of being a full-time educator, health worker or social worker.
You ask yourself:
Who will I be if I am not in my current role?
How will I spend my time if I am not at work?
How will a change impact my finances, my relationships, my security?
For some people thinking about retirement raises more questions than answers. In turn this can create anxiety and an ongoing weariness for you.
The problem is you do not know what you will do if you left full time work permanently or made a change to part time work or tried something totally different.
Did you know that retirement is in the top ten life events on the Holmes and Rahne Stress scale? No wonder you are feeling a little burnt out even thinking about retirement. Retirement has changed over the last two decades. In episode 1 of my podcast series Desire to Retire I explain how this change has come about.
A mistake people often make is thinking retirement planning is all about financial planning. Finances are important and people believe it will determine the quality of your eventual retirement. To some extent it does but it is not the whole story. When you take finance out of retirement planning it comes down to working out basic notions around everyday living and the values that underpin your choices. How highly do you value the way you spend your time, who you spend your time with and how meaningful is your life to those around you? You may be very wealthy but be very lonely. You may have lots of friends but decide some are merely acquaintances, not true friends. You may have a burning passion to be creative but are always too busy feeling obliged to meet other people’s needs. You might have a partner who you find it difficult to have a conversation with about plans for the future.
I think of my own experience of feeling tired and lacking the enthusiasm and energy I used to have for my teaching profession. I was feeling burnt out but didn’t know what to do. Despite no longer having the financial security which I had grown accustomed to, and being too young to fully retire I resigned from my full-time paid role to explore new possibilities. I just needed a change in my life. I did some retraining and found my true purpose in life of becoming a Life Coach to assist people struggling with issues of work and family. All of a sudden, I found I had freedom and flexibility in my life. I was no longer running to bells or shift schedules. I had time to really assess how I did want to live the next decade of my life. My clients will also tell you how they have made changes to their lives and successfully adjusted to changed circumstances.
I recall the sense of freedom expressed by, Cheri, a Senior University lecturer and administrator who had become tired of, as she said, putting out spot fires. She celebrated not having to attend a lecture schedule and student grievances. She had found freedom and flexibility to become her own boss providing online digital education programs.
In future episodes of Desire to Retire we will explore further the perceptions around retirement and overcoming the obstacles you perceive to be in your way at the moment.