Before they retire, most people will do financial planning to see how much money they will need. But life planning is just as important. Dr Jonathan Collie, co-founder of the Age of No Retirement, agrees. He has identified four elements of a successful retirement “in addition to the money bit”.
- “By far the most important element is a person’s social network,” he says. Entering retirement with only your immediate family and your work network is a frequent cause of retirement depression, he warns, which can be a downward spiral that is very difficult to reverse
- Having purpose and challenging one’s mind is the second element. This usually takes the form of some type of work – whether paid or unpaid
- “Ongoing personal development (the third element) should never stop,” Collie adds, pointing to the recent rapid increase in mature learners and the boom in retirement learning and development services, such as University of the Third Age and Men’s Sheds
- The fourth element is a serious one: to have fun. “In fact,” Collie concludes, “looked at through a slightly different lens, the elements of a successful retirement are no different to the elements of a successful life”
I have been focussing more in this area as a Coach, and have people coming to me for coaching who are planning ahead in anticipation of retiring, as well as people who have recently retired, had a bit of a rest, and are deciding how to spend their time.
I have helped bring together a group of Coaches who are interested and specialised in retirement coaching. As part of the regular meetings we have as Coaches looking into the whole area of retirement, I have started writing articles which I hope will be of help.
One of these is a general article on various aspects of retirement including principles, things to consider and coaching tools, another looks at reflecting on your legacy, and finally one on the whole idea of “purposeful aging”.