Perception of Retirement Influences Fulfillment After 60Mar 24, 2023
As you approach your 60s and almost seamlessly glide into your 70s, the idea of "retiring" from work and changing the pace of life can seem either daunting or liberating depending on your plans for this next phase of your life. If you aren't there yet consider that in 2017, Statistics Canada estimated that by 2030, 25% of Canadians will be 65 years of age or older. That is a short 7 years from now.
If you have followed previous blogs 2,3,4 and engaged in the work I proposed, you will likely feel more in control and comfortable with what life will look like for you over the next decade or two - or maybe three or more.
Recap: In previous blogs, I encouraged you to analyze your anticipation:
What's attractive to you in this next phase?
What fears and concerns do you have?
Then, begin to reconcile those two lists and create a plan to take action. You will need to assess your plan beyond your initial transition to ensure that it will serve your best interests throughout the next 5, 10, 20, and 30 years.
Fulfillment after 60 might feel like a distant concept that can allow for reflection and excitement or a sudden decision looming over your plans. Your perception of your future and possibly the perception and expectations of others around you will have a profound on what you believe is possible.
How Perceptions Based on Traditional Retirement Affect Our Joy
Once upon a time, our 40s was considered to be a transitional decade when we had a view to an end to our working life on the horizon. Many of us were influenced by financial planning marketing messages such as "Freedom 55". Many of us still hold onto perceptions that were shaped by those messages and the expectations of "traditional retirement". This myopic view robs many of the ability to see potential and opportunities for their future.
According to a survey conducted by the Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP) in 2019, the majority of Canadian "retirees" (64%) still prefer a traditional retirement lifestyle. This particular lifestyle includes pursuing hobbies, traveling, spending time with family and friends, and volunteering.
Ironically, many people still believe that exceptional financial preparedness is the key to the ability to choose this lifestyle. In a survey conducted by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) in 2021, 52% of respondents did not feel financially prepared to choose traditional retirement. A BMO's recent poll found that Canadians now believe that they will need $1.7 million to retire which is an increase of 20% over 2020. It's no wonder that many Canadians still dream of winning the lottery to fund retirement - strange, but true.
Does that mean that planning for fulfillment after 60 is not possible? No, because more and more of us are choosing lifestyles that include fulfillment on our terms - in the 21st Century.
"Traditional retirement is for squares: boomers want to retire on their own terms." 1
The Joy of Non-traditional Choices
A few alternatives to traditional retirement are often referred to as "unretirement," or "serial retirement" which involve continuing to work either part-time, full-time, or moving in and out of the workforce in some capacity at different times - when it serves our needs and wants.
Many individuals choose this path as a way to stay engaged in the workforce, pursue purpose, continue to contribute knowledge, expertise, and wisdom, maintain social connections, and supplement their income so that they can maintain a fully enriched lifestyle that they enjoy.
Alternatives to traditional retirement include:
Semi-retirement: Involving reduced work hours or transitioning to part-time work instead of a complete stop and withdrawal from work.
Entrepreneurship: Starting a business or becoming self-employed can be an alternative for those who want to continue working on their own terms.
Career Change: More individuals are using this phase of life as an opportunity to switch careers and pursue a new passion or interest rather than accept the "package" with the message that their skills and experience are no longer relevant or valued.
Volunteer/Advocacy: Many people identify this as prime time for spending time with organizations or causes they are passionate about, allowing them to remain active and engaged in their communities.
What About the Fun-Seekers?
The above choices do not preclude the joy of time for recreational and restorative activities as promised by traditional retirement. In fact, this wide array of choices brings opportunities to finally find and honour a self-directed approach to a life that we have always dreamed could be possible.
Your Choice - No Comparison. No Judgement.
Ultimately, the choice of whether to pursue traditional retirement or an alternative path depends on individual circumstances, goals, and preferences. The ability to examine outdated perceptions and choose your path without the comparing your choices with others or judging your choices, past and present, is critical in honouring what's best for you.
As you reach this milestone in life, understand that there is endless potential for fulfillment if you choose to adopt an open mind and embrace the change.
Drawing from decades of experience helping women business owners and executives plan for finding fulfillment after 60, I encourage you to examine your perception of what fulfillment looks like for you.
References and Resources:
All links have been verified as current and safe as of date published. Please hover on links to verify title accuracy and safety.
- Serial Retirement - Boomers Approach, CBC News, January 25, 2016
- Anticipating Fulfillment After 60 – Analyzing What Attracts Us, Executive Encore Blog, February 24, 2023
- Anticipating Fulfillment After 60 - Analyzing Our Fears and Concerns, Executive Encore Blog, March 10, 2023
- Do We Need to Plan for Fulfillment After 60?, Executive Encore Blog, February 17, 2023
What's On Your List? Analyze List of Attraction and Your Fears and Concerns
- The previous posts 2,3 encouraged you to create your list of fears alongside your list of what you find attractive about the next phase of life. Review both lists for what aspects are a reaction to work. Explore with skills for Reality-Testing. How can you change the narrative of fear and concern to opportunities for taking control, planning action, and finding fulfillment?
- Read previous and future blogs for enhancing your awareness and taking informed action to minimize our fears and concerns and addressing stereotypes that undermine our joy.
Your Next Steps
- Explore strategies for finding fulfillment after 60. Schedule a 30-minute complimentary call to explore possibilities. On this call, we will get acquainted and discuss what outcome is important to you. I will explain the application process for working directly with me and provide options that might better serve your needs. By the end of the call, you will have a "quick-win" action plan.
- Listen to the Executive Encore podcast. Women Finding Fulfillment After 60!
- Receive Maestro's Encore blog in your inbox with VIP content and specific exercises, self-assessments, and self-assignments related to this topic and to accelerate your emotional well-being and resilience. Start with your 90-Day EQ Mini-Plan or the mini workbook Emotions Drive Performance: Triggers from Thinking to Results - Predispositions, Self-Handicapping, Self-Sabotage
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