I’m often asked, “Nancy, what are some easy things I can do now to start to plan for my eventual retirement?”
I get that emphasis on “easy.” Finding the time to focus on the future is not so simple when you’re busy working hard at your full-time job. But even if you can only spare a few hours each month, there are some simple things you can do now to begin to plan for the future.
Here are 5 suggestions:
While traveling on an airplane recently, I sat next to an IT exec in his late 50′s and we got into a lively discussion about second-act careers (shocking, I know).
But when I asked him what he had in mind for his second act, he sighed and said, “You know, I think about a lot of things. But I gotta admit that the thought of doing something really different scares me. I can’t get this vision out of my head that I’ll end up as a greeter at Walmart and then one day I’ll bump into an old colleague who will ask:
“Hey, didn’t you used to be…?’”
One of the most common questions I’m asked about planning for semi-retirement is, “How do I get started?”
My answer is always the same. You get started by getting to know yourself better. You think about the “big” questions like:
You know how we metaphorically refer to transitions as “leaving the nest?” Well, this past weekend I had the opportunity to see “our” birds leave their nest. Literally.
Of course, the birds weren’t technically ours. They were a family of wrens who camped out for the summer in a gourd we hung on our deck (pictured above). But still, after spending a summer watching them build their nest and capture bugs for their babies, they sure felt like part of the Collamer family.
Witnessing them take flight was a rare treat; one that I doubt I’ll ever be lucky enough to see again. And as I watched them leave the nest, I couldn’t help but observe that their departure offered a lesson about transitions that applies to us all:
Much of what I write about here is geared towards people interested in doing something new and different during semi-retirement.
But of course, not everyone wants to do a 180-degree change in their second-act career. Some people really love their jobs and would like to stay connected to their professions on a part-time basis after “retiring” from their full-time career.
If that sounds like you, here are nine ways to work on a more flexible basis during semi-retirement - while still using your professional expertise: