Yesterday morning as I lay in bed planning my day I remembered my new year’s resolution to put out a newsletter every second week. What could I talk about? Then my mind strayed to an interesting post I saw on Facebook last year.
The post was called “The problem with Retirement Coaching” and appeared on Forbes.com late in 2016. You can understand why, as a Retirement coach it caught my eye.
But it was not at all what I thought. The author, as a former social worker and personal trainer, turned investment advisor goes on to outline how he believes people underestimate the transition to retirement. Many in fact waste the first few years simply trying to get back on their feet again. He lists some of the difficulties experienced, such as feeling socially awkward because you don’t fit in at the senior center or with your friends who are still working. Then there is the frustration of dealing with adult children who still see their parents as a bank, to mention two of the long list he gives. I could add the scenario where the wife has her life organized and now husband is home 7 days a week and wants company. That is all besides the fact that you are trying to settle into a tighter budget and you have so much more time to go shopping and eat out.
He goes on to say that retirement takes work and individuals would do well to take on a retirement coach as it is difficult to negotiate on their own. He says a successful transition requires a completely different set of skills and abilities from those required to reach it, and I here I concur fully.
He ends up explaining his title. The problem with retirement coaching is that people do not seem to understand the role.
As a retirement coach, I facilitate the process of discovering what it is you are going to do in your retirement years that is going to give your life purpose. For some, it may involve embarking on an encore career, for others it is downshifting or slowly letting go of the 40 hour week at work. For yet others, it may simply involve finding meaningful activities to structure the weeks and to make it easier to jump out of bed in the morning.
I shall end by saying that a study published in the Journal of European Labour studies found that people who keep on working after they turn 65 tend to be happier than their peers who are retired. They did go on to say that this was only when they were working by choice and not from a point of desperation.

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