Like the weather changes, there’s change everywhere we go.
Think of all the life changes you’ve experienced. From the time you were old enough to make your own choices, you’ve been making decisions. University, college or none at all? Which career path? To marry or not to marry? And a biggie on my radar — when to retire?
I’ve been fortune to have landed a career that I love. Working in communications has challenged me and given me opportunities to develop my skills. But after a long career, is it time to change my path and see what life outside of work looks like?
I don’t know if I’m ready, but I know I’m ready to think seriously about it. Every major change for me has come with a thought-out plan. It’s that plan that’s given me the confidence to make the choices I’ve made. So here I am today. Picturing my future self after work.
Like most of my planning, first came the goal — retire. I can’t imagine what life would be like if I couldn’t do the things I love doing, or if I was bored because I didn’t have anything to fill my day. So my first step was to think about my interests — old and new — and how I’d like to spend my time after work.
My next step was the “how will I get there” part. What resources would I need to make the transition happy and easy? This discussion generally focuses on the financial side of the decision, but also includes the people around me and the crucial role they play in my later years.
With the picture painted, I focused on tactics and timing. If I picture myself writing afterwards, then what can I do now that will set me up for success when I retire? (This blog for example.) If I picture myself working freelance, then should I start a website or contact page? What kind of support will I offer in the line of communications? What other learning can I do now? And, is now the time to make business contacts; while I’m still in touch with potential sources?
I also want to give thought to other activities. After all, retirement shouldn’t be a replica of worklife! So what can I do now to plan out my new found freedom?
Unlike the weather, change doesn’t just have to happen. You can control it with a plan that makes sense to you. As for timing? I’m not sure yet, but I know when I am sure, I’ll be ready!