Dear Coach Joan: Career Advice
Lately I’ve been seeing many clients facing the end of their career lives and wondering what’s next. Most are looking forward to retirement and ending a career that was once fulfilling, but has become routine, stressful or even boring. Many feel that enough is enough and it’s time to switch gears.
So the big question is often, what’s next? Most people anticipating retirement are accustomed to a nice paycheck on a regular basis. With few people getting pensions these days, they are often looking at a reduced income, especially if they have to rely primarily on social security. Even with some investment savings, retirees often have to anticipate lowering their expenses.
But does that necessarily translate into lowering one’s quality of life? And will there be uncomfortable trade-offs?
As we get into discussions anticipating retirement lifestyle, and spending habits, people often realize that they will not require as much income as they originally thought. Why not?
- Professional Image: Just the other day I met with a woman attorney who realized that she spent thousands of dollars each year on her corporate look. Between suits, dresses, coats, shoes, purses, briefcase, etc., it all added up to a lot of money. When she retires she no longer needs any of that! In fact, she looks forward to a much more informal way of dressing and has already started to give away some of her work clothing to a local career closet. It makes her feel good to help job seeking women dress for entry or re-entry into the work force.
- Eating Out: Dining out often is common for folks who work long hours. They don’t have the time and energy for food shopping, preparation and clean. However, once they have more time, they often look forward to the process of creating their own meals, even planting a vegetable garden, and typically saving a lot of money.
- Downsizing/Moving . We are seeing people, post retirement looking forward to selling the larger homes they often no longer need. Most baby boomers retirees are empty nesters and don’t need or want the cost of maintaining a large home. Many opt to move to less expensive, though interesting areas, and smaller properties. Some opt for less expensive, more communal situations with shared amenities like pools, laundry facilities, etc.
- Vacations. Most working people in the US are accustomed to limited vacation time and want to make the most of each trip. Once retired one has free time and can create less expensive, though fulfilling and fun travel experiences. Elder travel groups like Roads Scholar and inexpensive college alumni trips are often good ways to go. Additionally, research shows that most people enjoy travel up until their 70s but beyond that often enjoy staying closer to home. That translates to less money out.
- Fun Activities that are Low Cost or Free!! I am seeing people in their late 50s, 60s and 70s who are retiring and finding that they are in a NEW phase of life. A phase I call ReVitalment! ™ ReVitalment is after your primary career is over but before true old age. And the opportunities for fun, growth and enjoyment are endless. You can find all kinds of FREE or low cost programs at your local community center, college or arts center. Try dance, poetry, memoir writing, hiking, studying history, literature, drama and pay very little yet expand your life and enjoyment!!
Today we have radically fun new opportunities post career!! Think in a radically new way. Look honestly at your lifestyle today and that of tomorrow. Pause and really look at anticipated needs, costs and opportunities.
Onward in your ReVitalment, the NEW retirement!