Choice or Forced Change?
By Pat Heydlauff
Whether you are one of the 77 million baby boomers reaching
retirement age every seven seconds, approximately 12,000 people per
day, or still part of what the government calls the non-mature
workforce at 45 or under, the word retirement can create waves of
anxiety, mile high piles of questions and even unrelenting fear. In
today’s economy, the anxiety and fear has been magnified 100 fold
when it comes to retirement. Will it be your choice to do so within
your chosen time frame or will it be forced upon you whether you
want to or not?
Do you participate in the herd mentality that thinks
retirement means you stop working and stop living? Retirement isn’t
a life sentence to stop living but rather an opportunity to choose
how to spend the rest of your life.
The Big Question:
Thousands of articles are written daily by investment firms and
brokerage houses about the financial aspects of retiring but that’s
only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this major lifestyle
change. According to government statistics, 70% of those reaching
the age 65 every year believe they will not have enough money put
away for retirement. It’s up to you to decide what type of lifestyle
you wish to live at retirement age and how to continue your flow of
income with contingency plans to do so.
But what about the big question “do you want to retire? If
yes, what are you going to do with the rest of your life when you do
retire?” The traditional definition of retirement is the removal or
withdrawal from service, office or business. The contemporary
definition is to leave, give up or stop working. It doesn’t matter
if you are 25 or fast approaching 65, lots of thought and planning
needs to go into these two questions.
Enemy No. 1 when it comes to thinking about and planning for
retirement. When you became an adult you planned for the future by
getting an education and getting a job so you could live the type of
lifestyle you wanted. Reaching retirement age is inevitable so plan
for it as well so the retirement time frame of your life can be just
as good as any other portion of your life. According to government
statistics, 33% of the current work force is ‘mature’ workers, age
45 and over and fast approaching retirement age.
Perhaps you do not want to quit working. Does that mean
you will be able to stay at your current job indefinitely? Do you
want to stay at your current job indefinitely? Current research
shows that people who transition from full time work into a
temporary part time job live longer, are healthier and function
better than those who stop working altogether.
Retirement should be looked at as a bridge from the
past to the future not as the end of life waiting to see if you die
before the money runs out. This takes a lot of thought and planning
on your part to ensure both a smooth transition and living a life
you love once you get there. Stop procrastinating and start
planning. There is life after retirement.
Create a Retirement
According to basic Feng Shui principles, when you create balance in
your life the result is harmony and joy. As you create your
retirement plan the focus should be on what type of retirement
lifestyle will provide you (and your spouse) balance.
Do you want to stay active, busy and working? Do you want to
travel with your spouse or visit family regularly? Do you play golf
and wish to play three or more times per week? You may need to
relocate or downsize to create your transition to retirement.
Statistic show that 59% of boomers plan to relocate. Of those, 21%
plan to move to Florida and 18% to Arizona. Take the following steps
today to begin your retirement plan:
Use a yellow
tablet or a simple computer program to list all of the things
you’d like to include in your retirement plan – include
everything from continuing to work to part time work,
volunteering to taking up something creative like sculpting or
Expand each of
these possibilities to see what steps need to be taken now and
at various time frames in the future to make them happen
plan to make sure you have balance between busy time or work
time and recreation, family time and alone time as well as
physical activity to sedentary time
Make sure your
plan is balanced for both you and your spouse. One of the
biggest complaints in retirement comes from women when their
husbands stay home daily with nothing to do and try to take over
running the household or are critical of how she does what she
does or doesn’t do. This problem is compounded by the fact that
while the husband has retired, the wife’s work continues and
even increases with him home all of the time. This one issue
causes great marital strife in the first two years of retirement
unless planned for in advance.
are the happiest and most satisfied say it is because of their
family, friends and fitness. They defined this as having a
strong social network, being civically engaged and staying
Use Feng Shui
Principles to Energize Your Plan:
Your plan need not be perfect but it must be flexible.
Circumstances, thinking and your health change over the years, so
must your plan. Whatever your plan includes be sure to energize it
by using some of the following ideas:
Keep your plan
a live and vital document by energizing the east area of your
living/family room with a healthy upward reaching plant like
lucky bamboo, you can also use a picture of lush gardens or
trees – the wood element focuses energy on bringing new things
and income flowing into your life, something you need now and at
To help you
remember to review and revise your retirement plan regularly,
place something heavy made out of the earth like a rock, marble
or a decorative piece of quartz in the center of your home to
ground your plan and make it an integral part of your future -
as you walk by that rock on a regular basis it will remind you
to stay centered and in-control of today while planning for your
Create a vision
board to help you see what retirement will look like and to
energize turning it into a reality; use a simple bulletin board
(hang it where you will see it with some regularity) or your
desktop and place on your board pictures cut out of magazine,
symbols and your own creations that fashion a picture of your
future – this step not only uses the principles of Feng Shui to
surround you with positive energy but helps you use the law of
attraction as well.
be a universal term but means different things to different
people. By planning for what you want your retirement to look
like it will help you come closer to realizing as well as
attracting your future hopes and dreams.
Every thought you have today if acted upon helps you create
your tomorrows – think carefully and take action.
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