Run From or Arrive?

Common among causes of retirement are a desire to escape, to run away from a job someone hates or an aspect of it, for example the daily commute. The desire to escape the flames is frequently not accompanied with an equally passionate idea of where one might be headed having escaped. Potentially a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire. The desire for change or the overwhelming need to escape are very understandable human emotions. Far be it for me to suggest you should not have these feelings, however I would urge you to have a plan to arrive somewhere. Many people find themselves in a very unsatisfactory place when they retire, I have read some commentators say that those they have interviewed are lost. Having left a role which came with a road map and a plan to suddenly wind up in a life with no road map and no plan causes not just a sense of loss but sometimes far worse. Some of those in this position get lucky and quickly find themselves in a life they love and never look back. But many more do not, often taking considerable amounts of time to figure out what they want in life. Of those who appear to move seamlessly into a post work life and find themselves instantly at home it is frequently the case they had a purpose to move towards, perhaps having decided on phasing the transition by reducing working hours and moving into their new life in small manageable steps. However, these people are few in number and most of us are in the first category relying on luck to end up in the right place. Ending up somewhere that works for you is very different to arriving somewhere you planned to be. How many people book their annual summer holiday and embark on a trip with no idea where they are going or how they will get there? Would you really go on holiday and rely on luck to get to a place that works for you? It seems astonishing, if not downright ridiculous that so many do exactly this when moving into retirement. It is said there are those who take more time planning their wedding than their retirement. A plan for the future is critical. The process need not be as painful as it sounds. The first step has to be about being honest with yourself about where you are today, followed by an examination of your key skills and abilities, plus consideration of your future aspirations. For couples this is best done together, the conversations can be uncomfortable, but not as uncomfortable as the response you might get if you end up somewhere unplanned. Maybe with the question “why did you bring me here” ringing in your ears. To which no sensible answer is likely given the lack of forethought. At Beyond R we have workshops and programs to help you with this vital path to considering your future