menu

GUEST BLOGGERS

June-28-17

Early Retirement: A Success Story

What’s it like to leave a high level professional career in your early 50’s and take the leap to engage your passion? Meet Dave Harding, formerly a partner in an engineering consulting firm and now?  A very fit triathlete coach.  Here’s his story…

Start with Passion

Dave has a quiet demeanor, and is one, I get the impression, who thinks things through. He tells me that as a triathlete, you spend a lot of training time alone with your thoughts. He uses this time to listen to his body for feedback, and I think, he also listens to his soul.

Dave’s passion is competitive athletics, something he has done nearly all his life. He first dipped his toe into marathon and triathlon coaching while still fully employed. That’s when he realized coaching was what he really wanted to do. He decided to pursue this passion more purposefully and began to act on his dream.  (How could one be more purposeful than completing several Ironman competitions?)

Prepare Perform Achieve

That’s Dave’s motto and that’s how he made his transition from fully employed to a fulfilling early retirement. Over three years and while still employed, he took night courses to become certified and build his credibility in Fitness and Lifestyle Management, as a Personal Trainer, and as a Triathlon Coach.

He assessed his financial position in partnership with his wife to determine feasibility and timing for his early retirement. She’s still fully employed and the kids are launched which helped ease the transition. He planned a phased changeover. Dave moved from full-time employment to part-time contract work with the same company.  He carried out the contract work for a year before ‘stopping cold turkey’. That year gave him time to build his coaching business with less financial strain.

Dave enjoys the flexibility of his schedule now and the ability to have more time for his own training. (That’s 15 hours a week of training, yikes!)  The phased retirement approach gave him financial security to grow his coaching business and ease into his new lifestyle. His coaching business keeps him engaged, allows him to apply his skills and talents to help others and propels him to chart growth both personally and for his business.

Lessons Learned

“Conceptually, have a plan of where you want to go.” It will be up to you to determine what’s next advises Dave. It won’t be handed to you when you do fully retire. It’s much better being pulled to something new, than being pushed out the door.  When you begin to feel less engaged in your work and secure in your finances, find what you really want to do and go after it.

“The social aspect is a bit of a shock.” Moving from an office setting to working on your own can mean the loss of social connections. Ensure you maintain and create a social outlet that you enjoy.  It may mean developing new social circles and sticking to a schedule that gets you out meeting people. Otherwise, you may end up wasting a lot of time alone at home.

My take-away from our conversation?  It’s up to you to live the life you want – especially in retirement. Plan for it and just do it! Thanks Dave for sharing your story and inspiring us. Must admit, I’m now a bit more curious about the triathlon scene especially since Dave mentioned he has clients over 60!

In Dave’s Words

 “Find what you really want to do in life and pursue that the best you can do.”

Dave Harding, DEKK Coaching, Ironman Triathlete

 

Early Retirement: A Success Story blog was originally posted on the Next3rd website.

The views of the author are hers alone and may not represent the views of hers affiliated firms. Any data, information and content on this blog is for information purposes only and should not be construed as an offer of advisory services.

By: Kristine van der Pas-Norenius | 0 comments
June-21-17

Ready to Retire? 15 Success Factors

There’s more to preparing for retirement than financial planning. Important research has determined 15 factors that are key to retirement success.

What is retirement success? It’s a feeling really. A feeling of vitality, of purpose, of contentment. How we reach this sense of happiness in our next3rd differs from person to person. It may take a bit of self-study to understand just what we need to lead a fulfilling 3rd act in life. There’s help for that!

Dr. Richard Johnson, a leading expert on adult development and gerontology, and founder of Retirement Options has been studying retirement for several decades. His research has revealed that a retirement consisting of only rest and relaxation does not necessarily create a happy retirement. What does? Here are his 15 success factors in layman’s terms:

Fabulous 15

  1. Manage the identity shift from ‘what you do’ to ‘who you are’
  2. Positive attitude toward retirement
  3. Ability to set your own course
  4. How healthy you feel
  5. How financially secure you feel
  6. Current happiness
  7. Expected happiness in retirement
  8. Sense of purpose
  9. Leisure interests
  10. Adaptability
  11. How much you live in the ‘now’
  12. How dependent others are on you
  13. Quality of your relationships
  14. How young you feel
  15. Ability to replace the benefits of work/career

Whew! That may seem like the mother load; don’t fret!  You’ve probably got a good handle on some of these and other factors may be less important to you. Yes, the fabulous 15 may require you to pause and reflect. That’s good. The better you understand where you stand on these factors, the easier your decisions and the clearer your path to a happy next3rd.

I will explore each of these success factors in upcoming blog posts. Stay tuned!

 

Ready to Retire? 15 Success Factors blog was originally posted on the Next3rd website.

The views of the author are hers alone and may not represent the views of hers affiliated firms. Any data, information and content on this blog is for information purposes only and should not be construed as an offer of advisory services.

By: Kristine van der Pas-Norenius | 0 comments
June-12-17

5 Benefits of Work You’ll Need in Retirement

Think retirement is a life of leisure? Think again. There are key attributes from your working life that you will need in retirement. When we don’t plan to replace these 5 benefits, we can experience a gradual wearing-away of ourselves in retirement. What are they and how can you satisfy them to keep your vitality in retirement?

According to the research on retirement success factors by Dr. Peter Johnson, founder of Retirement Options, the five benefits of work that have evolved to needs in retirement are:

1. Income

After decades of building wealth, you will begin to draw from your nest egg to meet your material needs when you retire. It’s an adjustment and it can be nerve-wracking. An Angus Reid study reports that 48% of Canadians surveyed are worried about their money lasting their lifetime.

Having a financial plan and a qualified financial advisor will help you understand how you can best replace this benefit of work. Need a financial advisor? Here are 6 questions you need to ask a prospective financial advisor from Jennifer Vachon’s blog.

Typically, income in retirement includes OAS (Old Age Security), your pension and savings.  A new source of retirement income is beginning to take hold.

Over 60% of new retirees are considering some form of employment after their first retirement.

But money is not the only benefit of work.

2. Time Management

Being free of your calendar, meetings, and conference calls may be your dream for retirement.  Yet, having a lot to do, actually does help us manage our time well.

Keeping some sort of schedule in retirement allows you to prioritize the people and activities important to you and keeps you engaged and involved.

Retirement is a time to create new habits and routines and explore new undertakings. Perhaps it’s a tennis game every Tuesday morning, art class on Wednesdays or a monthly community meeting.  Mondays are my planning and writing days. What you want to avoid, is idle busyness, killing time, or worse, letting your life schedule be dictated by TV programing.

3. Sense of Utility

We all want to feel useful and have our work valued.  This doesn’t stop when our career does.  “Having purpose injects a sense of meaning in our lives.” Dr. Johnson reminds us.

This benefit of work was the hardest one for me to replace after selling our business.  I was feeling lost initially after having a clear sense of business purpose and direction for decades. I needed to take stalk of what mattered to me, of what strengths I could apply, and of what problems I could help solve to build a new sense of utility.

Retirement gives us freedom to re-engage in things that we love and care about.  Perhaps its family, your community or a world issue.  Maybe it’s learning something and sharing your new wisdom.

Find a way to be helpful, to contribute in a manner true to you and you will find vitality in retirement.

4. Status

It’s not about a title, but more about having a place in our community, having a role in society.

Find a way to be helpful, to contribute in a manner true to you and you will find vitality in retirement.

At work, you knew your role and how you fit in to the scheme of work activities.  You will still need to find your place in society during retirement.  Your new ‘status’ may be tied to your life’s purpose, or in your new usefulness or the ‘new you’ discussed in my previous post.

I’m the “Pathways Champion” of my community, a volunteer role that came about as I developed my new sense of utility and purpose. “The number one reason first retirees work again is not for financial gain but to feel involved.”

5. Socialization

At work, we are required to interact with others. Collaborating on projects, meeting deadlines, responding to queries, presenting ideas, resolving conflict, or welcoming new team members are all forms of socialization.  Through our interactions with others, we develop ourselves, build relationships and form friendships.

We still need social interactions when we retire and for some, this is the biggest loss after retirement.  You may be forgotten by the former work crew.

Retirement is an opportune time to join or build new social circles. Circles that embrace your new purpose, interests and role in society.

Now you know! Replace these five benefits of work and you are on your way to a retirement full of purpose and vitality.

 

5 Benefits of Work You’ll Need in Retirement blog was originally posted on the Next3rd website.

The views of the author are hers alone and may not represent the views of hers affiliated firms. Any data, information and content on this blog is for information purposes only and should not be construed as an offer of advisory services.

By: Kristine van der Pas-Norenius | 1 comments
June-05-17

Retirement: Identity Loss or Gain?

You’ve had a successful career, professional accomplishments, recognition. Perhaps your identity is your work. How do you move from career success to retirement success? How can you manage the loss of your work identity?

“What do You Do?”

In our culture, the first thing a person typically asks when you are introduced, is “what do you do?”. We are identified, categorized, and valued by the type of work we do. Got a professional designation? Own your business? Another label. It is easy to let our work take over our identity. We’ve spent most of our lives working and developing our work skills. As Dr. Wayne Dyer wisely said…

“We become what we think about all day long.”

Reframe or Regress

Retirement is an opportunity to reframe our identity from what we do, to who we are. Dr. Johnson calls this work reorientation, his first of 15 factors for a successful retirement shared in this blog post.

“A self-definition built almost entirely on our work can hinder our growth in retirement.”

Those unable to redefine their identity are at great risk of falling into a lackluster retirement of withdrawal, apathy and non-involvement, states Dr. Johnson, founder of Retirement Options and leading expert on adult development and gerontology.

Turning Loss into Gain

Yep, I was one of ‘those’. I self-identified through my work.  I was an engineer, had an Masters in Business, successful businesswoman – and all that went away the day we sold our business. It felt liberating!  Society’s shackles were off.  I also felt the loss.

You can feel unimportant very quickly. You are no longer of interest to the working set – you don’t “do” anything according to the narrow view of our work culture. It can be a rude awakening, but it is an awakening.

Let go to grow. When you let go of your old work identity, you are free to create your new identity, an identity that is truer to you. This is fun!  It may take some time. It’s a self-reflective exercise and you will likely begin to rekindle the kid in you.

The New You

Retirement gives you the time to reflect on the new you. Likely, you’ve taken personality assessments in the past and perhaps there’s some insight in these. A life or retirement coaching program may also help you uncover the true you. Or simply think back to your youth and what sparked your interests before society’s opinions mattered. Here is a good Ted Talk with tips on how to be a ‘self-expert’.

Get started!  Stir up those childhood dreams, and let the true you shine. When you know who you really are, you will be able create a retirement that is unique to, and just right for you. Stop calling yourself a retired ‘such and such’ and start the new you!

Need some inspiration? Find out how Dave, a former engineer, became a triathlete coach in this blog post.
 

Retirement: Identity Loss or Gain? blog was originally posted on the Next3rd website.

The views of the author are hers alone and may not represent the views of hers affiliated firms. Any data, information and content on this blog is for information purposes only and should not be construed as an offer of advisory services.

By: Kristine van der Pas-Norenius | 0 comments