Last week I took myself to my cottage in the country on a self-imposed writing retreat.  That is one of the joys of working online, I have the flexibility to work where it suits.  I spent 3 days revamping my book so that it is no longer targeting the South African market exclusively.

It also has a new name and is about to get a new cover.  “7 Questions to answer before you Retire. Simple steps to a retirement with Purpose and Meaning”.  I will be launching at the end of the month and subscribers to this newsletter will be eligible for pre-launch discounts.  So keep your eyes open for the announcement.

If you had told me 10 years ago that I would find a career in writing, I would have laughed out loud.  But, here I am in my 65th year, spending about 70% of my work hours, writing.  I write about retirement, a topic I have become passionate about and it is what gives my own retirement meaning, purpose and relevance.   I write blog posts, newsletters, and I am now well on the way to completing my second book

I have been reflecting on a model that I frequently use in my coaching.  It is based on a model of Human Needs first introduced by Tony Robbins who is well known in coaching circles.  I use it to help my clients see how leaving work can bring total chaos.  I help them come to understand that leaving work can completely upend the balance in your life and part of the transition is finding ways of reinstating that balance.

The model shows the need for a balance between Certainty and Variety in our lives.  Certainty refers to structure, routine, predictability and stability, whereas variety is the need for stimulation, excitement, new experiences or new people.  In reflection, my career in writing has provided me with routine and hopefully at some stage, stability through income.  It certainly is exposing me to new experiences, new people, and is packed with stimulation and excitement.

The next level in the model is the balance between Significance and the need for Love and Connection.  My encore career in writing is clearly providing significance in my life as I take on a new identity as an author.  I am a member of several Facebook groups of aspirant, as well as published authors, and am rapidly becoming versed in a new vocabulary around writing and publishing online, which gives a sense of love and connection.

The last level is the need for Growth and Contribution.  Launching into a new career as an author at 62 has opened my eyes to a whole new world.  I have had to learn a new language and I have learned so many new skills from platform building to Amazon algorithms, from Word Press to eBook design and the ins and outs of growing your following on Social Media.  It is an exciting journey and certainly not without its ups and downs.  I have found a sense of conviction that the content of my books has relevance for baby boomers, and is contributing to the body of knowledge around making a successful transition into retirement.

We have no role models for the retirement that we Baby Boomers are experiencing.  Thanks to medical science our generation will live longer than any generation ahead of us, and probably after us.  We cannot afford to retire and simply relax like our parents and grandparents before us.  Nor do we want to, so it is essential that we manage to find ourselves and balance our lives when we make the transition.