Swimming with the Current: Rewiring Your Retirement
Kathy Longo, CFP®, CAP®, CDFA Tuesday, 30 January 2018
If you’re thinking about retiring, now is a great opportunity take stock of your life as a whole, with your career being only one component. Too often we look at our lives in black and white. Job and spouse. Children and friends. Fun and duty. It is important to look between the lines to identify the aspects of your life that make you feel successful and joyful.
The reality is that our lives are complex—a myriad of things that provide us with fulfillment. Stripping away the barriers that make you think in strict compartments can help forge new perspectives on what makes you happy, what matters most to you, and what you might consider when it comes to envisioning your retirement. When you reach your 50s, 60s and beyond, it might be just the right time to consider “rewirement” for retirement.
Rewirement should be considered a lifestyle adjustment that shifts your entire attitude to treating your life experience as a journey, not just individual events that take place. This type of outlook can encourage you to explore opportunities, learn new skills, challenge your body, mind, soul and spirit with new experiences. Rewiring your brain to look at the world from a different tilt can shape the way you perceive your own reality and encourage a renaissance of attitudes in a transitional stage of your life.
I consider this exercise the total and complete embrace of your transition. Letting your guard down fully to go with the current rather than trying to swim against it.
Rewire Your Mind
Most of us spend a large portion of our lives in a routine that consists of an eight-hour workday, five days per week, weekends filled with family obligations and work to do around the house, the occasional vacation to reset the clock, and evenings with dinner, family-time and off to bed. When you retire a big chunk of that routine is changed. You no longer have the obligation to head off to your job every weekday. Challenging your mind to learn new skills and gain new experiences can help your biorhythms adjust to your new routine. Perhaps you can spend more time on something that interests you, starting a new venture or investing in something you have never done before. It is essential to challenge our minds and keep our brains active. Treat it like a muscle that needs to be worked.
Connect Your Body and Soul
Strong, healthy and vibrant body and soul is paramount to feeling fulfilled in your life. This is true at any stage of life, but it can fall by the wayside when people feel like they have too much else to consider during major life transitions. Taking the time as you enter retirement to modify current habits and to manifest new ways of thinking about how you move and what you consume can help you feel energized in your new adventure. Retirement can provide you with greater freedom to recharge and relax. Rewiring your relationship with your body and soul can help you optimize the way you nourish well-being moving forward.
Nourish Your Relationships
Countless studies have demonstrated the importance of having strong relationships with family and friends when you retire.1 Consider the relationships that have fulfilled you throughout the course of your life. So many of the bonds we form with friends, teachers, colleagues and family members have taught us our greatest life lessons and shaped who we are and what we believe in. Rewirement of relationships can help you make your empty nest feel full. You can make efforts to expand your circle of friends, spend more time with those you love and care about, and challenge yourself to take the time to have meaningful conversations and experiences with people who make you feel inspired and content.
While your career is a big part of your life, it is only one aspect of a much larger whole. The career choices that you made throughout your life were intentional choices that led you down a path to where you find yourself today. Rewirement is also an intentional choice. So, it may be time to ask yourself—what will I rewire? One person’s choices and passions are very different from someone else’s. Defining what makes you feel fulfilled in life will evolve as your experiences redefine the shape of your retirement. For some people, rewiring retirement will mean big changes. For others, the exercise may just be a series of little tweaks. Either way, facing your retirement transition with zeal and a sense of adventure may serve you and your loved ones well for the long term. Live life to the fullest, no matter what your age.
About the Author
Kathy Longo, CFP®, CAP®, CDFA
Kathy Longo brings over 25 years of expertise and experience to Flourish Wealth Management. Kathy is wholly dedicated to improving the life of each client and finds joy in making complex matters simple and easy to understand. She excels at asking the right questions, uncovering new possibilities and implementing the most advantageous strategies for success. Playing such a pivotal role in her clients’ lives remains an honor and a privilege. After earning a degree in Financial Planning and Counseling from Purdue University, she began her career at a small firm in Palatine, Illinois where she worked directly with clients while learning to build a viable, client-centric business. Over the years, she gained extensive knowledge and wisdom working as a wealth manager, financial planner, firm manager and business owner at notable, various sized companies in both Chicago and Minneapolis.