While sipping a latte during a recent vacation, my husband and I met individuals and couples who, like us, were traveling and enjoying new experiences in their retirement. As the natural exchange of get-to-know-you questions progressed, l had an “a-ha” moment when asking, “What do you do?”
I discovered that after retiring and settling into new routines, retirees wake up and approach their mornings in two different ways. Let’s refer to them as Group A and Group B.
Group A retirees succeeded in planning beyond the joy of that first cup of coffee in the morning. They have specific plans to tackle during the day. When asked what they do, they responded by giving examples of things they do that make them feel purposeful, healthy, valued, and socially connected.
Group B retirees often responded more about their past. They told me they were retired and shared stories about what they did in their career. It was apparent they were not engaged or fulfilled in retirement. Unlike those in Group A, they do not have a plan. They aren’t sure what they will do each morning beyond drinking their first cup of coffee.
I explained to Group B retirees that, as a certified Retirement Transition Coach, my clients find planning a successful retirement is more than planning to have a certain amount of money saved in an IRA or 401k. It’s also about preparing for the non-financial side of retirement: all the activities for them to do that would make them feel purposeful, healthy, valued, and socially connected. They had never thought about the importance of planning for this aspect of retirement.
Since the trip, some of the Group B retirees and I have reconnected. They told me how they are implementing the things we discussed — plans that get them out of bed in the morning.
They are now feeling positive and excited about retirement, and enjoying that first cup of coffee even more!
If you are retired or planning to retire, in which group do you see yourself? In which group do you want to be? What will you say when asked, “What do you do?”