With every passing day we are closer to a new stage of our life. And the first step in that new stage is considering the options of how you want to live your life – a life in which you are in control and which allows you to have a lifestyle that is just right for you.
Not all plans have equal impact on your life
Many people, when they consider retirement, dream of a wonderful long holiday and make all sorts of elaborate plans for their European summer, or their road trip around the country, or perhaps their luxury cruise. For many that dream holiday takes place and is an unforgettable experience.
But what happens when you arrive home? You’ve still got the rest of your life to live… There’s a big difference between planning for your special holiday and planning for your retirement.
You need a plan now which means when you stop your normal working life you’ll be in a position to take on new challenges which you control and which will greatly enhance your lifestyle.
Couples can make plans for their future together but TOGETHER is the key word. You must be together in your plan making. As a couple, you need to have mutual plans…not identical, but compatible. You need to discuss what each person desires and then combine the two so that you are both getting what you want from life.
Without consensus today, tomorrow will be troubled. One person’s needs will be met and not the other’s. Or even worse, neither will get to do the things they want, which can lead to a great deal of resentment and disappointment.
Of course some compromise is going to be necessary, but it must be true compromise. The plan needs to incorporate the aspects of lifestyle that both feel is important, with neither feeling forced into doing things that they really don’t want to do.
I can’t promise that this will be easy. Communication is the key and, because many couples fall into poor patterns of communication over the years, you may find you need some help in planning your future. You could get this help from a professional coach who specializes in this area. Planning a fulfilling retirement is just like planning a fulfilling career…except that there are two of you who need to agree on what constitutes a fulfilling retirement!
Being on your own has advantages
Flying solo can have its advantages when you are planning for your future. If you are on your own your needs and plans will be considerably different from a couple planning for their future. In fact it’s a lot easier to plan to meet just one person’s wants and needs! However the single person planning for their next stage of life may also find that they need some assistance to gain clarity about what they are really seeking. On your own it is easy to fall into the trap of not challenging yourself.
It's important to challenge your own ideas and plans. You may have had a picture in your mind of what the next stage of life will be for you. But is it still what you really want? Are there alternatives that you may find more satisfying? Challenge your presumptions and take the time to consider other ideas.
Contact me at Boomers Next Step if I can be of assistance to you in developing your future plans.
Commit it to paper
By writing down your goals, by committing your dreams to paper, you force yourself to think deeply. If you are a couple, sharing written plans gives each the chance to question the other. Single people would also benefit from writing down their goals. Seeing your plans committed to paper helps you focus on what it is important and, just as importantly, what is not important.
Making definite plans helps you face your future.