I am an early riser – so early in fact that I typically wake up at around 5 a.m. each day. It is the time of day I have grown to love most. Especially as it is a time when I dress for the weather, put on my hybrid walking and trail shoes and embark on my 3.5-mile walk. It does not matter what time of the year either. Mornings are often the only time to head out during summer as I live in the desert. And winter’s darkness does not stop me either, thanks to my trusty flashlight. I have developed great appreciation for the light afforded me either by the sun, the moon, and that flashlight. Where the light is great, I can see my path extending a good distance with people, pets, and potential barriers in full view which allows me to consider any potential detours. During the winter months when days are short and mornings are dark, my lighted path extends perhaps several feet in front of me. I must trust the path that is lit and make sure I avoid obstacles that could cause me to trip and fall.
In a way, I believe this is similar to how we approach major life changes such as leaving a career behind to embark upon a new lifestyle. Sometimes we have a clear view of what lies ahead. We may have consulted with a financial planner or diligently tracked our investments to ensure we have the finances to support us for the next 20-plus years. Perhaps we have determined where we wish to live or lined up a side-hustle to give us a little extra cash. We may have already become involved in volunteer work within our community.
Sometimes however, the path we see for our new lifestyle becomes blurred. This may happen with unexpected job loss that requires prematurely using up some of those hard-earned retirement resources. Or you might encounter unexpected health challenges like cancer or heart attack, or even the sudden loss of spouse or significant other. The light in front of you is limited allowing you to take just one step at a time along this path. You will need a flashlight to help guide your way.
Identifying your flashlight then becomes a critical action to take prior to embarking upon your post career life. And you will discover that it is useful to arm yourself with more than one flashlight. Your flashlight to guide your financial path might be your financial planner. Who have you identified to be the flashlight to light your way toward a life of happiness and purpose? Who can you turn to when navigating your path around other obstacles that would impact your emotional health? A qualified retirement coach would be a great resource. Retirement coaching involves the more personal side of retirement planning that uses social science, experience and research to help people develop a holistic plan for their future. A retirement coach can be your advocate and resource for a vibrant lifestyle.
If you would like more information on retirement coaching, consider contacting Successful Shifts to explore how we can help.
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