Well, what do you think? The days on the job are really exhausting any more, and there are times when just putting one foot in front of the other seems an impossible task. We all look forward to getting away from the 9 to 5, but it is scary too. So, what happens now?
Jonathan Clements writes (Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, November 22, 2006) an article called “Off Your Rocker: For a Happy retirement, Don’t Swap Work for the Front Porch”. His research brought out that people give scant thought to what they want do after they leave work force. Everything else in our lives has been planned out carefully so why should this be any different? Lack of planning about this momentous step can lead to depression, mental deterioration, declining health and possibly a shorter life. Great! We figure that this is going to happen anyway, but putting a time frame on it makes it all the more difficult to face.
We need structure. No matter how much you hate your job it still gives your day structure, earns you occasional praise, provides a social network, and gives you a sense of purpose. If nothing else it makes you truly cherish your days off.
After thirty or forty years of spending only a few hours a week together with your spouse, how are you going to handle all of this togetherness? The potential for conflict is huge, and being together 24/7 is going to take some getting used to…an adventure or a catastrophe?
Have you given any thought to what retirement is all about? After a few weeks of resting you will need to start exploring your options. The article mentions a program called My Next Phase founded by Eric Sundstrum that offers coaching and Web-based programs for people approaching retirement.
People who are engaged and have something to do, tend to live longer and happier lives than those who sit on the porch or play endless games of golf.
The author suggests identifying your passions (something that you had to give up on when life happened), what is your purpose, what is your reason for getting up in the morning? If your work was what gave you purpose, your need to figure out some new purpose or you will languish and die. How will you replace the stimulation of work? You will need a new social network and you will need to work out what your new role at home will be? Thoughtful questions, which is why more and more people are turning to the professionals to help them get their act together. Retirement isn’t about waiting to die! A second coaching program mentioned was Navigating Your Retirement, which is an online coaching program by Employee and Family Resources in Des Moines , Iowa