Recently the Chicago Tribune had an article on its front page about retirement with the subtitle: “Harsh realities of busted system have boomers stuck in the workforce.” While I am well aware of the many challenges for Boomers thinking about rertirement (many of my clients are Boomers), I was shocked by the use of the word “stuck.”
I read the article and appreciated the coverage of the economic and financial situation. However, I felt it told only half of the retirement story.
Words matter; they have power. To me using the word “stuck” was a poor choice because it can set the expectation for many pre-retirees that they have no options. Unfortunately, people who feel they are stuck often become frustrated, resentful, more anxious and depressed. Some will reach out for help; many will not.
The other side of the retirement story looks at the importance of developing the right mindset for this unnamed new stage in life that is no longer seen as old age. Just as there is Adolescence as a stage in life, there will be a name for the added twenty to twenty-five years in life from 60 on. The word “retirement” will eventually only be found in history books.
As with any stage in life, there are challenges and opportunities. An important benefit of focusing on this gift of time in this way instead of the “stuckness” aspect of it is to create resilience. People at this age have many life experiences and strengths which can be helpful when planning a life they really want rather than taking the one that just shows up. Yes, it takes planning as do other stages in life.
I believe life is an evolving journey that changes with the choices we make, especially when there are challenges. Although retirement is dying or dead, in its place is a time of discovery and personal fulfillment as you transition from one stage in life to another.
My purpose in working with individuals entering this new stage in life is to expand their mindset so they can break free into a rewarding and joy-filled life. What you see ahead for this unnamed new stage is what you believe you can be.
Let me know what how you feel about planning for your Encore Years.
Until next time,