Lynda Smith Lynda Smith, trained Retirement Coach and Wisdom Continuity expert, shares some insights into the options facing those who will reach retirement age in the next 10 years. Its fairly clear that this generation of retirees are not going to give up work completely and disappear to the coast or golf courses. But what options do they have?

Will I retire like my parents?
At TomorrowToday we track societal changes and look at future trends that will affect society. So the question I ask today is what will retirement look like ten to fifteen years from 2006 and how can I plan for this?
Technology has changed life in so many ways. Medical technology has developed and understands so much about the human life that we can now live much longer than our grandparents did. Retirement at 65 was legislated by many countries and companies early in the 20th century as very few people lived to see their 65th birthday. Today we live with a completely different story. Many people will live to a healthy 85 or older. How will this affect your financial planning as well as infrastructure planning and changes that will need to accommodate this in society? The other main change taking place is that one can live as a healthy active person still adding value to society well into your eighties. This is going to be one of the main challenges facing a person planning for this phase of life. Many of us feel that as long as we have focused on the financial side of this phase all will be well. The truth is that although the financial side is critical it will be vital to know who you are and how you can add value to life. One will need to plan and understand how to put a balanced life in place that helps you to get up daily with passion and renewed energy.
Here are three scenarios that you may identify with:

  • A man is now in his mid 50’s and has worked for one employer his whole life. He has dedicated much of his life to this employer. His family and those close to him label him a workaholic. He receives most of his status and recognition from his work environment. He is dreading the day he needs to leave and stay at home. He has developed no hobbies and has few friends.
  • This person is in their mid 50’s and is battling with the pressure of the workplace. This person is waiting for the company retirement date to arrive so that they can flee the world of work for ever. They plan to live with a life of no pressure and leisure forever. They do not realize that this life could become a life sentence when they do this for more years than they spent at work. They may wish for the day where they had value.
  • This person was divorced in their forties and is now heading for retirement with a fear of the unknown. They know they do not have enough money to sustain them through many years of retirement but are unsure of what to do to change this? There seems to be no room for an older person to add value in the world of work of the 21st century.

Richard Johnson has studied this subject for many years and states the following. “The new retirement is not an ending, it’s a new beginning, the start of a new life journey of vastly expanded proportion�.
The retirement of the 20th century brought idle busyness, powerlessness and reliance on others. It offered an illusion of a prolonged vacation but for many it only delivered a monotony of sameness that gave only shallow satisfaction. The old retirement saw you as ending, while the new retirement sees you just as beginning!
So how do we plan and work towards this new exciting phase? Richard Johnson speaks about a circular model of an ever continuous cycle of 1 ) exploration 2) mastery 3) mentorship 4) renewal. Like everything worth doing in life this will take time and planning. It will take time to work through your current situation, understand your strengths and weaknesses and where you need to do some work to apply these principles and change your future.
In his research he has identified 15 factors that together constitute the content of a thorough self-analysis. This self evaluation can be most profitably accomplished at successive intervals before your first retirement event. He suggests doing it 15 years before, again at 10 years before, again at 5 years before and the year before retirement. He then recommends that you do checks every 5 years to keep your self fresh and on a continuous growth curve.
The analysis can be achieved by taking the on line Retirement Success Profile ( RSP ) . The RSP is a 120 item self-assessment that provides a detailed, personal inventory of your current strengths, as well as areas needing added focus.
The 15 factors covered in the profile are:
Work orientation, attitude towards retirement, directedness, health perception, financial security, current life satisfaction, projected life satisfaction, life meaning, leisure interests, adaptability, life stage satisfaction, dependents, family/relationship issues, perception of age and replacement of work functions. The profile gives you a measure of present behavior as well as tracking expectations of future behavior. The variance is used as the tool to help you manage the space in between. This one can do by reading the book written by Professor Johnston that comes in the format of an E Book after you have done the assessment or you can enroll for a few sessions with a life coach who can help you with the process.
The exciting news is that the 21st century brings a new view of what life will look like as we retire. I am not even sure that fifty years from now we will use that word ! I want to enter this phase equipped and ready to live life at full blast. Most boomers feel that way. We do not want to lie down and die. We want to be 18 till we die. I do believe we will be the most active older generation in the history of time and that we will change this life stage as we move through it. Are you ready for blast off?????
Lynda Smith is a trained Retirement Coach and is able to offer this retirement assessment. Please contact her on or +27 82 490 2822
We also offer wellness workshops for employees reaching this phase of life. Visit for more details.

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