Last week I was talking to a friend who retired a few years back. She had built an organization up from scratch over 37 years and when she finally retired, she said she felt completely adrift. Until then, she had no idea of how important the job had been in terms of structuring and holding together the fabric of her life. She described so vividly the 3 months when she felt she was completely adrift bobbing about on top of the ocean, without structure and direction.
For nearly forty years Monday to Friday she had been at the same work place. During holidays she enjoyed the relaxation knowing that shortly she would be back in the structure. She loved her job and had no reason to query this. But in retirement that structure and all the security and predictability that went with it, suddenly disappeared. We all know how, when you take something for granted, the way to appreciate it again is to deprive yourself of it. This is what happened to my friend.
Today it is 5 years to the day that I was edged out of a job at 60. I had only been in that particular job for two and half years, so I did not feel the loss of structure to the same extent, but I did experience the feeling of bobbing at sea, not knowing which direction to take. Looking back on it now, I realise I had been so intent on retiring at 65, that I had made absolutely no plans whatsoever for entering this 3rd stage of my life at 60. At the time, my experience was tainted with anger at the situation, as well as my lack of planning. In fact it took me over a year to acknowledge that I was even retired.
Now, 5 years on looking back, I would do it very differently if I was given the chance to do it again. I would have started to put plans in place at least 5 years prior, thought more carefully about what I wanted to do, and perhaps have even done the research and started the business on a small scale before I actually left work. Because I skipped all the planning, the growth trajectory of my coaching business has felt like fumbling in the dark, with growth spurts every time I see a shaft of light.
I would love to have done it differently. That is the opportunity that I offer with retirement coaching. I offer you the chance to plan in good time, before you actually retire, and help you get your ducks in a row before you make the transition. If you, or any of your friends, feel you could benefit from a chat about where you are headed, please feel free to contact me on this email address.