If you are reading this, you are already doing something to avoid the biggest retirement mistake… having no 3rd Age Life Plan. (note I said Life Plan… not Financial Plan, which is also essential but this is beyond that)
You may be scratching your head, asking what is 'Third Age'? It is a term that defines the bonus years after career and raising a family that our forebears didn't have. This is a time when advancement and status become less important and your focus shifts from achievement to fulfillment… a time to translate your values, gifts, dreams and passions into new opportunities that give your life meaning and authenticity.
I remember a woman who was at a seminar I led a few years ago who said she had retired and had this list of things she was excited to do, things she thought would take years to accomplish. Well, she did them all in the first year and was trying to figure out "What do I do now?"!
One of the luxuries of this stage of life is often the gift of time… use it to your advantage to thoughtfully create your plan.
Start by asking 'Who am I, really?'
- Clarify your values – what is really important to you? values are priorities that tell you how to spend your time
- Discover your gifts – think about what you can't help but give away… not things, but what you always find yourself doing in spite of what you 'should' be doing… we often de-value our gifts because they seem so easy to us
- Explore your dreams – do you have dreams still waiting to be fulfilled? close your eyes and picture yourself floating in a hot air balloon to your dream life… look down… what do you see? where are you? what are you doing? who is with you?
- Acknowledge your passions – what makes you come alive? when I work with buyers I can usually tell when they find the right house for them because their faces light up and their eyes sparkle… what makes you light up and forget about time?
Use this foundation to make your Life Plan
- Do you want to make changes in your lifestyle?
- Where will you live?
- Move closer to family/friends?
- Move to a place you have always dreamed of?
- Move to a retirement community?
- Spend time in multiple places?
- If you move, what will you miss? what will you be happy to say good-bye to? what will you look forward to in your new home?
- What makes a place feel like you could willingly waste your time in it?
- What will you do?
- Will you work?
- Will you volunteer? where, what kind, what end goal?
- Will you help with family – parents, children, grandkids, other?
- Will you travel? visit places, family, friends?
- Will you study? learn something new? teach?
- What have you always wanted to do but never had the time?
As you make your plan, keep in mind the three essentials for happiness and fullfillment…
- Something to do
- Something to love
- Something to hope for