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The old model for retirement focused on rest, relaxation and leisure. For the majority of boomers, looking at 20 to 30 years in retirement or more, a new model is required. One that encompasses mental and physical wellness, personal fulfillment and involvement. Creating an enriching and engaging second act requires just as much energy and thought as building a successful career, but brings a much greater capacity for true satisfaction and joy.

4 strategies to help ensure the success of your Next Chapter:

  1. Craft a portfolio of pursuits based on what’s important to you. What would you do with 2,500 free hours, because when you retire you will have a minimum of 2,500 free hours per year for the rest of your life. I hear the following comment regularly from the recently retired: ” We weren’t ready for all the extra time we had. We felt adrift and it took us a few years to figure it out.” Most Americans spend more time researching a vacation or their next car purchase than they do planning for retirement. Writing, biking, hiking, gardening, volunteering, traveling, reading, the list can be as long as your imagination will allow. Develop a list that is uniquely yours and take the time to “test ride” each in order to see if it justifies space in your future plans.
  2. Determine if you plan to work past retirement age.  Many older people do want to keep working for reasons of mental engagement and social interaction. The money makes it even better. If you do determine that continuing to work is part of your retirement plan you will need to land on the following.
    • Full or part time
    • The same industry or an encore career
    • Opportunities as a boomerpreneur
    • Volunteer opportunities if additional income is not required
    • Determine if additional education or qualifications are required

    The key is to land on something that you are truly passionate about and hopefully offers the flexibility to explore other areas of interest. If staying in the paid workforce is not in your future ensure that you land on other activities that will provide the mental stimulation and social interaction that work once provided.

  3. Take care of your physical health. A successful second act is predicated on good health. Although there are no guarantees, physical activity coupled with a healthy diet helps to weigh the odds in your favour. For many the extra time that retirement affords is the perfect opportunity to get and stay in great shape. Don’t let the loss of health be your wake-up call in this area.
  4. Making sure that you and your significant other are on the same page.  Each of you make a list of things you must have, want and wish in retirement and be ready to compromise. Figure out how much time the two of you want to spend together. You would be surprised at how many couples have categorically different views in this regard.

This is your opportunity to be the architect of your own retirement. Make it a cathedral! 


As President of Your Future Reimagined (YFR) Coaching and Consulting, I help professionals/executives successfully transition to enjoyable and enriching retirements.

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