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The New Retirement – “No Rules” Apply

Published January 27, 2017

Our concept of retirement is undergoing a metamorphosis. Demographic, societal, and workplace trends have all converged to offer a stage of life—at mid-life and beyond—that is much more fluid and flexible than we previously thought possible.  When planning for retirement, we are discovering that the “old rules” have been thrown out and that “no rules” apply. 

In other words, our retirement experience has become a matter of personal definition.  Because of increasing longevity and more active lifestyles, many individuals are viewing this time in life as an opportunity to explore their potential. 

Instead of “not working,” retirement has come to mean emancipation, the freedom to choose the activities and pursuits they find the most satisfying and rewarding. 

For example, many of those who embrace the “no rules” concept will actually experience multiple “retirements”—moving from one endeavor to another in the second half of life.  Some will choose career sabbaticals to pursue new learning, personal renewal, and/or volunteer service.
Others will stay within their career paths, but find renewed enthusiasm by taking on new assignments or by adopting a new work-life option such as part-time, free-agency, or telecommuting.

For this reason, the “no rules” retirement model advocates proactive planning throughout adulthood and in all areas of life.  Retirement should not be viewed as a single event, but rather as one of the many transitions in a continuum of life experiences.

Those who prepare to successfully navigate other life transitions will likely have the same experience with retirement.  That’s because the habits, attitudes, skills, values, interests, and relationships that have been honed and developed along life's journey will continue to serve them well in midlife and later life.

Therefore, as you think about your life in the future, your skills, interests, values, and preferences should be given thoughtful consideration. 

These items should be considered your assets—a set of characteristics that define who you are as an individual and influence the life choices you make. 

Combining the information of “who I am” and “what I want” will help you to form your unique definition of “quality of life” now and in the future.

Most importantly, designing your “no rules” retirement is all about identifying, pursuing, and living in sync with your personal values and priorities. 

In fact, the greater your understanding of what is important to you, the easier it will be to “paint a picture” in your mind of what you are working toward.

Do you have a clear picture of how you want to spend your retirement years?  The more you focus on and envision what you want to experience, the more successful your retirement transition will be.

Reprinted by permission of Money Quotient, NP

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