Life Transition and Retirement

Retirement Is a Major Life Transition 

Don’t kid yourself.  Without proper planning for the emotional side of retirement, you could end up floundering for a while when that new journey begins.   Take some time prior to retirement to ask yourself some provocative questions that will start you off running the day you leave your job.  Start today by asking yourself this question.  You should know this is just the tip of the iceberg.

What three words describe what retirement means to you?  Say the words out loud a few times.  I recommend writing the three words for more clarity.  Then, ask yourself the following questions and write your answers below each word.



For each word what pictures come to mind?

Are there any actions that need to happen now to make the word reality?

What exactly does the word mean for you?

How do you feel when you say the word?

Does someone else come into mind when you say the word?

Do you see yourself in a special room or home?

Do any of the three words you chose happen to be grandiose, simple, depressing, uplifting, boring or exciting?  If so, why is that?

Survey Results

I did a survey with my FB friends to find out their three retirement words.  The results were interesting.  The popular words were freedom, relax, renew, time and travel.  These are all words you would expect to see as it relates to retirement.  Notice, though, they all have “vacation” themes.  It is important not to view retirement as just one big vacation.  For most, that really is not realistic.  The being on “vacation feeling” may be OK for the first month or so, but after that even vacations can get old.  Therefore, if you chose one or more of these words, I challenge you to really explore why you liked the words.

Then, there were words that definitely need more exploration:  boredom, budgeting, fear, restlessness and struggle.   Based on my experience with financial planning clients, I can tell you that these words are very popular.  Life transitions are difficult and these words describe what many experience.  Journaling about these words will bring clarity and solutions to turn the words into positives.

Journal Your Way to RetirementFor more exploratory questions to prepare you for retirement, check out my new book, “Journal Your Way to Retirement”.  You can pick it up via my website, Order Book.  It is also available in ebook format on Amazon or at the bookstore, An Unlikely Story



My long career as a CPA and Certified Financial Planner has kept me locked into numbers for a long time. But, over those years, I have come to understand the power of journaling or writing ideas and thoughts on paper. My hope is for one of these books to resonate with you and to provide you the tools to get what you want in life.

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