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Reflect, Imagine, Explore, Transform: 4 Steps to A Happy Retirement

Life after a 9 to 5 can be an intimidating prospect. When it's time to take a breath and enjoy what we have worked hard for, the options can seem too few or too many. However, all you need is a road map to follow:

  • Reflect – To move forward, you need to look back and leverage your experiences.
  • Imagine – From there, you’ll develop a vision for the future. In other words, dream about where you want to go.
  • Explore – You’ll then adopt a beginner’s mindset and begin a journey of exploration.
  • Transform – Once you’ve explored and found interests that align with your gifts, passions, purpose, and calling, you’ll continue to learn, grow, and ultimately transform.

Reflect on What Brings Meaning to Your Life

What motivates you and gives you purpose? The answer is crucial to a happy retirement. Activities, relationships, and responsibilities give life meaning, and you should think about the things that mean the most to you. Many people continue working after retirement by choice, not out of necessity. Whether you join them or find another activity, reflect on things that bring you the joy of deep meaning and organize your retirement around them.

Reflection brings an opportunity to look back before you look forward. What are the skills that you can leverage? What ignited your passion that you might wish to explore again? Who is your community?

As you transition into retirement, your community will change. While you think you may stay connected to your work friends, they’ll be busy working. So after a couple of connections, after you leave, you will need to think about your community and how it must shift.

This transition is not about clinging to the past; it's about moving forward. Socialization is an essential facet of your retirement lifestyle. Transition planning should account for engaging, fun activities with new friends and connections– they have a particularly significant effect on retirees’ moods.      

With a Growth Mindset, Imagine the Possibilities of Freedom

Adjusting to retirement requires imagination and planning. First, however, you need the right mindset. After reflecting on the activities and people who give life meaning, the broad vista of retirement should inspire you and elicit optimism. For glass-half-empty types, you can practice and train optimism, a mindset linked to longer health and lifespans.

An optimistic, imaginative approach will help you formulate a plan that excites you and brings you joy. If you have trouble thinking of how to pursue your passions, pre-planning retirement courses can help you develop a plan to ensure you know how you will enter this next phase of your life.

Explore How to Adapt to Retirement

It may sound counterintuitive, but plan some unpredictability into your retirement. Allow yourself to explore new things. Take up a hobby you never had time for. Or perhaps take up an offer to do something you've never even thought of trying before. A retirement coach is an excellent resource for suggestions you might miss. Continued learning is one of the best ways to stay sharp during your transition to retirement.

Exploration is physical, too. Keep your body healthy by exploring new activities. Exploration can be as simple as walking to see what's around the corner or as exciting as learning a new sport. You could also consider keeping pets. For many, they are a great source of joy and companionship in addition to a potential activity booster.

Intro The Future of You

Your Ideal Retirement Awaits! The Future of you will help you find the same sense of purpose and fulfillment you had throughout your career while still enjoying all the perks of being retired.

In this 6-module interactive program, we help you create a personal roadmap to your life in retirement. We share proprietary research-based content and tools developed from the experiences of real people. Our 4-step process takes you from wondering what to do with your newfound free time to waking up with purpose, excitement, and a renewed vision for your life.

Nan relied on her expertise in brand marketing, design thinking, and first-hand experience as a retiree to conceptualize and evolve the solutions offered by The Future of You. Nan believes empathy is a superpower and curiosity is the key to life-long engagement.

Nan Ives
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