Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

Should I stay or should I go? 31: retiring, and phasing out of work as a work-life transition 3

Posted in career development, job search, job search and career development by Timothy Platt on November 3, 2016

This is my 31st installment to a series on intentionally entered into, fundamental job and career path change, and on best practices for deciding both when and how to carry through on it (see Guide to Effective Job Search and Career Development – 3, postings 416 and following for Parts 1-30.) And this is also my third posting to this series where I at least begin addressing the issues of retirement, and phasing into it.

Realistically, retirement and even just significantly phasing into it call for at least some accumulated resources, and certainly if you are to have a fulfilling retirement that allows you to do the things that you would wish to do then – and if you are to leave an inheritance to your children and their children while doing so. I couched that in terms of more strictly financial resources in Part 30 of this series. But finances are not the only significant factors that enter into this, and either for retirement resources per se, or for what you do and can do in retirement. And I add, with the issue of inheritance in mind as just touched upon there: yes, financial assets can be and often are a big part of any inheritance that a retiree can plan on leaving. But time can be important too, and opportunity for spending it with your children and grandchildren so they, and your grandchildren in particular can get to know you and learn more of where they came from – their family history.

• Finances are important and both in the resources that you would need for your own retirement and for what you would leave as your legacy. But finances per se are not everything here.

I begin addressing non-financial resources, and in both the context of retirement and of planning for it with a resource that we all tend to take for granted – until we begin to lose it: our health. And let me begin addressing that as a crucial retirement planning factor with a specific example of how it can become significant. Let’s assume that one of your goals in retirement is to finally get to travel more – and recreationally: not on the job where you are in and out of a place before you can really get to see it. Now you are approaching or entering into retirement and you have a list of places you want to see and get to more fully experience. And some of them are more off the beaten path; you are not just interested in going to see European capitals. You want to go on a camera safari to Tanzania or you have always wanted to visit and at least day hike in the big US national parks.

That requires health and mobility, and as you age it is all but certain that you will reach a point where both are reduced from what you had as a working adult. Time happens and so does aging. Health, and your years with as good a quality of health and mobility as you have now, will not last forever. So one of your retirement planning considerations in this scenario would be to plan out what you would do and where you would go – while you still can and while you can still enjoy it. And I mentioned the general matter of inheritance above and return to it here again too. The inheritance that you leave does not have to be limited to what you leave in your will and estate planning as monetary wealth. It can also be in what you give of yourself and of your time now – where that, in this case might mean taking a son and daughter in law and their children with you and your spouse on a trip that they will all remember for the rest of their lives. That does not necessarily mean expensive; it means meaningful.

• So I began addressing the resource of health and I added in the resources of time and timing while doing so. Think through what is important to you, as you enter your post-work life years. What is most meaningful and important to you and why, and with what priorities and according to what timetable? What would you identify as your non-financial resources that you would have available as you start retirement, but that you will spend down or otherwise see diminish over time?

I am not offering this as a long posting, by any means but it is one that calls for thought and effort from you the reader. It is a fundamental goal for this posting and this series, and for this jobs and careers Guide as a whole, that I provoke thought, and hopefully some relevant follow-up action. What do you want to do and to be able to do when and as you retire? What resources do you have and what can you develop? Consider as wide a range of relevant resources as possible here – relevant to you. What would you need for all of this, where financial considerations are important, but others can be important too? And what can you be doing now, to make all of this possible?

I am going to turn back to my to-address list of Part 29, for my next installment to this series, and will (finally) address the questions and issues of why you would retire, and either now or according to some relatively short timeframe. I stated that I would do that first in Part 29, and then switched directions to focus more on resources first, in Part 30 and here. And then after delving into why issues, I will reconsider retirement and the path towards it from a family perspective, where for many of us this means couples at the very least.

Meanwhile, you can find this and related postings at my Guide to Effective Job Search and Career Development – 3 and at the first directory page and second, continuation page to this Guide.


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