Two Mindsets Going Into Retirement

I’ve seen two kinds of people. Those who are excited about retirement ready to be done with work, and those who don’t even want to think about retirement because they’re either too busy to think about it, or they just don’t know what they’re going to do with their time.

If you’re either one of those, stay tuned…

Retirees who go into retirement with the mindset of “retiring FROM something”, after a year they inevitably have to make an adjustment – often it’s kind of a let down as they reevaluate what they’re doing, but you don’t have to do it that way – versus the person with a mindset of “retiring TO something” seems to be more prepared on the mental side of things for this next stage of life.

You can have a rewarding and fulfilling life after work, even if your career fills those needs of purpose and significance. So we’ll look at some questions to ask yourself and then I’ll share some activities of what other people like you have done and are doing to have a successful retirement. Before we get to those questions, the first thing is to just make sure that your finances are all lined up. It’s hard to focus on your ideal retirement if you’re worrying about your financial plan.

Your Unique Skills Don’t Go Away

You have your own definition of success. One version that I’ve heard is to do what you were created to do. Now, how do you do that? You might already know what you’re really good at and what you really like doing. If you can find the intersection of those two things, that’s a great start, but there’s a third piece that might be missing for some – what does the world need more of? A client of mine was a business owner, he was a CPA with a successful accounting firm. He found that when people trusted him and the firm with their taxes and financial decisions, they’d often bring up things happening in life that were more important than just the money. He had an innate ability to listen and provide wise advice. They came for tax support, but there was more that they ended up getting from him.

There was this fourth category that came into the mix and that is monetary value. People were actually paying him for this. In retirement, he has assets that make him money and he doesn’t have to work for income anymore, but he’s still using his skills and his curiosity to meet with business owners or younger people interested in business to listen and just give thoughts on what’s really important. Sometimes it’s free, but there is an opportunity for money to come in from that.
If you’re reading this and you are like, “Dave, I have no idea what you’re talking about,” check out the retirement purpose guide here. It walks you through getting the answers to these questions to help you do that self discovery with guided questions along the way.

Questions to Ask For Your Best Retirement

Question one is think about how much time would you want to put into things like hobbies, vacations, family time, volunteer work? Also corporate or non-profit board work, or maybe even a flexible side job? Question two: what causes or charities would you want to give time to? The third one is what leadership skills or expertise do you have? Remember that your unique skills don’t disappear when you retire. They can still be used to help others or to help family. Question four: what relationships do you want to go deeper with in retirement? Whether that be family, friends, your faith, etc.

Now you’ve got more free time than you’ve ever had. I would say time is actually more valuable than money. Your money can actually make you more money, but it can’t make you more time. If you run out of money, you can make more, but if you run out of time on earth, you can’t make more of that. Put a little icing on the cake and experience a greater fulfillment. One person said that fulfillment is using your unique ability in serving others. A piece of advice from a business owner client of mine said to think about saying no to offers the first six months to a year after you stop working so you can be certain it’s the right thing to commit to.

Writing Your Stories

One more activity that I’m seeing people do and enjoy in retirement is writing your thoughts; writing your stories. My dad did this and he organized it into a short book and I believe that he did this in part to pass on some of the values and experiences that he had. When you get into this third act, you realize that you’ve got assets, but not just financial assets. You also have intellectual assets and human assets.

In retirement you might have more time to think, or pray, or to write than you’ve ever had before. You’re important and unique and you have things to share that could help others. It’s an exciting time for you. Retirement can be a wonderful time, so make sure you put in the effort on the non-financial side of things too. I hope this was helpful. Reach out to us with any questions you may have.