For the past couple of months I have been dwelling on the fact that I never did any serious planning before retired.  Unfortunately my plan was to retire at 65, but as I turned 60, the job I was in became untenable.  We cannot live in regret, but I would love for you to have the opportunity to gain from my hindsight.

On leaving my job, after licking my wounds, I embarked on a course in Life coaching.  Fifteen months later I qualified, but I still had to find clients.  My journey has probably been longer than most as I opted to niche myself in the retirement planning space, which is a new concept and not well understood.  I am exceedingly lucky in that I had money to live on as I got going, but now as I reach 4 and half years out of work, I really need my business to be self-sustaining.

My thoughts keep straying to the fact that much of what I have done over the past 4 years could have been done while I was still working and bringing in a salary.  The correspondence course, writing my first book and establishing myself as a presence on the world wide web could all have been achieved while I was still employed.

I do understand that for some, the last few years of work are stressful.  You are older and less resilient, and you are anxious about handing over work that you have built up over many years.  But, unless you have substantial financial reserves, may I suggest that you don’t leave everything till after you retire in order to start an encore career from scratch.

It is a completely different scenario if you are simply continuing in your current field and down-scaling.  I interviewed somebody yesterday for my next book and she described a seamless shift.  She was already working several projects and she simply chose to drop the ones that she no longer found rewarding.  But, not all of us have those opportunities.

Well, this may catch you off guard because you haven’t a clue what you are going to be doing with yourself in retirement.  That is where a couple of sessions with a coach would be useful, because you could explore the opportunities.

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