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  • Larry Gard

Are you psychologically prepared to retire?

We’ve all seen the ads on television telling us to plan for retirement and save more money. They’re absolutely correct and the earlier you start the better. But whether or not you build the nest egg you want, you still need to be psychologically prepared. In fact, I’ve encountered many financially comfortable people who were surprised by how strongly their emotions impacted their transition to retirement.

You can’t go from the present to an active and meaningful retirement without giving it some thought. It simply doesn’t emerge on its own. My colleagues at The Platinum Years® have developed a number of programs designed to facilitate the planning process including self-guided tools.

What Has Been Satisfying?

Long term, you need a strategy to figure out what is going to be interesting, meaningful, compelling, and rewarding. As a starting point, one exercise I do with clients involves determining key satisfactions derived from work and then identifying alternative sources.

For example, perhaps one satisfying thing about work is that it allows you to tackle problems. You don’t need to stop doing so just because you retire. The question is can you find compelling problems to solve outside of your current job?

Start by looking at themes from your past. Have you been drawn to problems that required research or logic? Do you like long-term challenges or do you prefer to fix things quickly and move on? Do you typically prescribe solutions and let others implement them, or do you prefer to be directly involved? Depending on your answers board service or part-time consulting might be options for you to consider.

What Are Your Values?

We all know of people who had to “re-retire” because their initial plan to play golf or spend time with their grandchildren proved to be insufficient. Planning your next chapter in life takes time, thought, and a keen sense of which endeavors will resonate most closely with your true self. The Life Values Inventory is a terrific online assessment developed to help people who are facing major life decisions. By clarifying your values, it will be easier for you to select the best options for your Platinum Years®.

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