Finding Your Way To A Rich + Meaningful Retirement
Our customised interactive group and interactive corporate group workshops focus on 6 key aspects of Navigating Retirement:
2. New Stage Thinking
3. Reshaping Identity
4. Health and Well Being
6. New Beginnings
Moving from work to retirement can potentially be, or may have been, one of the most stressful changes in your life. The Transition Roadmap will help you to make sense of this major life-event.
Today the word ‘retirement’ (a withdrawal or a retreat) no longer means what it once did. These are the literal definitions and increasingly they fail to adequately describe the possibilities of modern retirement.
In Roadmap 2 we examine the ideas of a number of revolutionary thinkers like Peter Laslett, Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, Mary Catherine Bateson, Marc Freedman, Ken Dychwald and Chris O' Farrell. These new stage thinkers argue that it is time to retire the word retirement! They in turn have coined such new terms as The Third Age, Third Chapter, Second Adulthood, Encore Years and Unretirement for what they see as an emergent new life stage—between the end of midlife and before old age.
A multiplicity of new stage models or paths are already available to us. In creating this third roadmap, we discuss the many possible, rewarding and creative paths that will help you shift from a career perspective to a more diversified or ‘portfolio life’ perspective—one that takes a more holistic view of your life. A perspective that will allow you to see beyond being defined solely by your work.
In designing this roadmap you will learn the importance of paying close attention to the issues of balance and satisfaction. We stress that the essence of this perspective is the manner in which you invest or allocate your time and energy. Of course, these components are very individual and personal and, therefore, will vary for each of you. To facilitate the design of this very individual roadmap, a wide range of suggestions will be provided.
Roadmap 4a: Mental and Physical Health
If you are a baby boomer, the bonus of two or more decades of a relatively healthy life after retirement will pose the question: how to live well, think and act, without the constraints of work?
To view these years as a bonus, many myths about ageing will need to be reconsidered so that they don't become impediments to change.
In charting Roadmap 4, we do two things:
- We explode and reject 3 of the worst myths:
DNA is destiny
It’s too late to do anything: the damage has been done
Our brains are hard-wired – older brains can’t learn anything new
We examine facts like:
The plasticity of the brain discussed by Michael Merzenich and Norman Doidge, 2 prominent neuro-scientists
Alternate avenues to stimulate and challenge the mind
The relationship between exercise and health
The importance of moderate exercise
- The benefits of a balanced diet and why most diets fail
Roadmap 4b: Social and Psychological Well Being
Adjusting to retirement or the Third Age or Third Stage can be challenging socially, emotionally and psychologically. Transition can often be associated with emotional difficulties—most frequently depression.
Therefore we examine:
- Key signs of depression
- When and where to seek professional help
As an antidote to signs of emotional turbulence we engage with:
- Positive thinking or Positivity
- The ideas of some of the foremost voices in this field – Martin Seligman, Barbara Lee Fredrickson and Shaun Achor
- Models of “Chasing Down Happiness”
- Morris Rosenberg’s concept of “Mattering”
We also focus on your social portfolio—your connections with others. We stress the importance of:
- Consciously maintaining and building social relations and networks
- Diversifying your social portfolio
- Inter-generational friendships
- Creating opportunities for making new friends
Relationships are one of your greatest assets and therefore require time and care and, at times, repair: some might even need to be discarded.
While retirement frees you and your spouse/partner or individuals to spend more time with family, it can also produce stress and conflict, so in the development of this roadmap we discuss your experiences, and in particular, we discuss the following areas:
Marriage – being together in the twenty-first century
Ending relationships – “What! At My Time of Life?”
A new kind of marriage
In case you and your spouse/partner may require professional relationship support suggestions will be provided.
Retirement can also create tension when one generation fails to understand the needs and expectations of the other. In certain cases children can exhibit a sense of entitlement that after retirement their parents provide:
Help with more baby-sitting
Run errands for them
Do repairs around the house
During this roadmap we brain-storm the do's and don’ts and how to:
Establish as well as negotiate boundaries
Although retirement allows more time for grandchildren, this can be a double- edged sword. Potential areas of tension might arise when you and your spouse/ partner have different perceptions and styles of grandparenting.
Roadmap 5a focuses on:
1. Different perceptions: how you and your spouse/partner perceive the grand-parenting role
2. The value of the role of being a grandparent to your sense of self or self-image
3. The difference between being useful and mattering and being taken for granted
4. Identifying different grand-parenting styles and resolving differences
5. How to communicate effectively with tech-savvy grandchildren
Roadmap 5b: Reshaping Relationships: Parents, Friends and Self
A growing number of those of you who are baby boomers belong to the ‘sandwich generation' and face the double duty of providing care to both the younger and older generations. Instead of an empty nest, you and/or your spouse/partner have a crowded house, including a frail elderly parent and sometimes also “boomerang kids"—young adults who return home because of divorce, unemployment, or in order to save money to buy a home, and thus disrupt your plans for the “golden years” and impose unexpected physical, emotional and financial burdens.
Not only does this create stress and a reduction in privacy and time for leisure activities, it may also create conflicts between you and your spouse/partner, children, siblings and even older parents who are the care recipients.
In Roadmap 5b we discuss:
Ways to plan as well as allocate caregiving responsibilities with your spouse/partner, siblings and parents
Negotiating impositions: reductions in privacy and leisure activities
The need for support from your spouse/partner as well as seeking professional help
Where to seek professional help
Friends become especially precious in retirement. Therefore, in the process of constructing Roadmap 5B, we consider:
The social and emotional benefits of friends
Three principal friendship styles
Whether you and your spouse’s/partner’s friendship styles are compatible or conflicting
How to resolve possible differences
In retirement a deep psychological shift can take place, and we begin to hear one another say, ‘I’m going to take better care of myself,’ and we mean more than the occasional massage.
During the construction of this roadmap we applaud and explore ways to:
Give yourself permission to care for yourself
Stop listening to others and being defined by them
Tune out some of the demands that have kept you busy
Become more assertive by saying “No” and speaking up, speaking out and speaking your mind
Shed the ‘shoulda-woulda-coulda’ thinking and past choices
Build confidence and resilience through your ability to cope with and even embrace what life brings
In this final roadmap you will:
Present your personally designed Diversified Life Plan or Individual Action Plan
Realise that you have completed the transition cycle/journey and have found, however tentatively – a new beginning, a new identity and a positive life-plan for the next 5 years