The thought of retiring brings, for many of us, an instant feeling of hope, relaxation, and fulfillment. For others, there is an accompanying sense of anxiety, confusion, and even fear. And then there are those who simply have not paid too much attention to the prospect of leaving the full-time workplace. And they are ok with it.
Why do we have different perceptions of retirement, if this is a ‘natural’ stage in our later lives? Why is it that some individuals are able to retire ‘early’, while others seemingly never do so?
The answer is actually very simple. Some people have proactively planned their retirement all their lives. They CHOSE how, when, and where to retire. They lead their energy and consciousness towards that goal.
This article provides the foundation for an educational series I have entitled ‘Leading your Retirement’, which is in part based on my free guide ‘The Top Five Strategies to Kickstart your Retirement’, but is also inspired from the Energy Leadership process introduced by Dr. Bruce D. Schneider in the late 1990s.
In coming up with the title of the series, I considered being more specific about ‘where’ to lead your retirement. In reality, that is not the intention, because only YOU can determine the next stage of your journey. This is a self-discovery process.
Your Level of Engagement
How engaged you are in preparing for your transition into retirement will determine your degree of success in doing so. Your level of engagement controls your awareness and provides you with choice. This is where you manifest your intention to do something about your retirement.
At one end of the scale of engagement, you have no power (or you think you don’t have any) or choice. Your attitude may be, “Why bother? It is too late for me to prepare for retirement”. At the opposite end of the scale, you have high power and total choice. You do things because you CHOOSE to do them and therefore have control on the outcome. Having and executing an updated financial plan is a good example of being fully engaged.
I urge to continue reading if you fall under the category of not having any interest or engagement in planning for your retirement, because maybe the reason is that you don’t know where to begin.
Getting Started: The Top Five Strategies
My free guide ‘The Top Five Strategies to Kickstart your Retirement’ provides a simplified introduction to the retirement process, regardless of where you are in life. These strategies are:
(1) Assess the CURRENT level of satisfaction you have in the key aspects of your life, that could impact how you want to retire;
(2) Create your own definition of retirement, and connect with your goals or intentions;
(3) Check your goals against your core values;
(4) Visualize your retirement and identify challenges and inner blocks; and
(5) Make an inventory of your ‘soft’ or ‘dormant’ skills.
I have designed these strategies to be followed in the order given, but you may begin with any of them. During the next few weeks I will be expanding on them and provide practical examples and applications.
As you follow these strategies, pay attention to your thoughts and feelings, and to the energy or power behind them. Are you stressed out as a result of this exercise? Or, are you motivated and inspired? How you think and feel depends on your current energetic ‘makeup’.
Leading your Retirement: An Energetic Frame of Reference
The energy, power, or potential you have to accomplish anything in life is always available to you. It is within and around you. That same power that has driven you to where you are right now, is what will LEAD YOU into your retirement, or into whatever it is that you CHOOSE to do after you leave the full-time workforce.
This energy may be catabolic – that is, draining, resisting, and destructive (but sometimes necessary), or anabolic – which is healing, building, creative, expanding, and constructive. The sum total of these types of energy constitutes our energetic makeup.
There are SEVEN LEVELS in which this energy or power is manifested. Each one of these levels is characterized by a core thought, emotion, and action or result. The following is a highly condensed description of the actions or results produced when one resonates with each level of energy at any given moment.
LEVEL 1 results in lethargy or avoidance, while LEVEL 2 manifests in us as defiance. Both levels consist of catabolic energy.
LEVEL 3 results in compromise, whereas LEVEL 4 leads to service. These are moderately anabolic energy levels.
LEVEL 5 is highly anabolic, and its core action is acceptance. It is manifested as opportunity.
LEVEL 6 consists of high to very-high anabolic energy which leads to wisdom and empathy. LEVEL 7 is the highest anabolic energy, resulting in creation and spiritual realization.
These levels of energy and their relationship to how we perceive, and ultimately envision, our retirement, will be addressed in detail in future publications of this series.
Your Vision and Itinerary
The ultimate intent of this series of articles is to arm you with the awareness of how, when, and where to retire or to transition into that next stage in your life; to help you attain clarity in your VISION and to provide you with tools that will empower you to LEAD your retirement.
Before you embark on your journey to those New Shores of your life, you need a detailed itinerary which includes ways to mitigate deviations and to resolve any obstacles.
May your vision be clear and your journey smooth and joyful.