What a Retiring Executive needs besides money

Joyce Richman is with us today to talk about Retiring Executive. You can listen to the show at http://rockyourretirement.libsyn.com/what-a-retiring-executive-needs-besides-money

Joyce-RichmanAre you a Retiring Executive?  Are you within 5 years of that goal?

There are special issues associated with a retiring executive.   Joyce Richman has worked with individuals as an executive
coach for more than 30 years. In addition to her private practice, Joyce has worked with hundreds of clients across the United States and internationally.

Joyce gave us some great advice that she specific uses with executives preparing for retirement, but anybody can use it really.

She said that if you are a retiring executive, you should really have the conversation a couple of years in advance.

So for example, if you are 60 years old, and planning on retiring at 62, you need to start talking about what your perfect retirement looks like, NOW.

A retiring executive should bring his or her spouse into the conversation.

Discuss what you expect, and be honest.  If you plan on traveling, discuss this with your spouse, who’s perfect executive retirement may have meant having you around the house and snuggling on the couch watching television.  Get these things worked out now.

Consider also what gives you energy.

What do you love to do naturally?  How does this play out?  If playing the guitar gives you a buzz, consider taking lessons or joining a garage band if you know other aspiring musicians.

Also, some executives don’t want to just stop working when they retire.

Their perfect retirement might mean volunteer work or business consulting.  A hobby might take up more of your time, but most of us can’t golf for 10 hours every day.

Consider the top challenges that married couples need to overcome as they move through retirement.

If you are a retiring executive, be sure to talk it through with your spouse.  Many people assume that their spouses wants to do what they want to do, and they are used to being in control.  Your spouse may be used to doing things at home, and now there is someone that they need to get used to in their territory.

Joyce’s Book(s):

Author of Roads, Routes and Ruts:  A Guidebook to Career Success  co-author of Getting Your Kid Out of the House and Into a Job

What do you think people should know BEFORE they retire?

If in a marriage/committed relationship, couples should have candid conversations (preferably facilitated by someone objective) about “what’s next?”; what each person wants for those years free from the obligations of paid employment for self, and for each other. This conversation is in addition to planning with a financial advisor so there’s no misunderstanding around finances… what is within bounds… and what is outside those bounds. If single, (and in addition to financial planning) who and what do you need in your life to feel a sense of belonging and involvement in lives outside your own? What stimulates, energizes, focuses your attention in positive ways. Identify it.. all of it… and realize your role in initiating the outcomes you seek.

What if you feel stuck in Retirement?

Think back… to those moments and times when you have been most happy. What was happening? What were you doing? Who was there? What value or benefit came from that experience? You job now… is to find ways to recreate those experiences… if not for you, for others who might learn and take value from what you can now share with them.

Joyce’s contact information:
Phone: 336-288-1799  Email: [email protected]  Website: www.joycerichman.com


Today’s freebie, 5 things you need to do before you retire, can be found at  http://RockYourRetirement.com/Retire

It really is a project!

As I’ve been thinking about retirement, I’ve realized that getting ready to retire is a “project.”  The textbook definition of a “project’ is that it has a beginning and an Retirement Projectend, a scope, schedule, and a budget.  It also has a clear purpose (usually a mission or vision) and the desired outcome.  But the main thing that sets a project apart from our day to day life is that:  IT IS SOMETHING YOU’VE NEVER DONE BEFORE!

Treating getting ready for retirement like a project, similar to planning a special event like a party or a wedding, has made sense to me.  I love to learn and research so I’ve been spending time listening to archival podcasts.  Some of my favorites so far are Episode 27, Go Do Enjoy!, Episode 30, Retirement as a Couple, Episode 33, Non-Financial Aspects of Retirement, and Episode 47, What a Retiring Executive Needs Besides Money.  What these podcasts have done is provided me with ideas for areas I need to explore.  I love listening to the stories and examples and there are always some resources mentioned, including lists, books by the speaker, or even other podcasts.

Maybe you’ve never planned a project but anyone can do it, especially if you are using best practices from project management.  Some practical things I could suggest is to purchase just a few things that aren’t that expensive.  Find a whiteboard or something that is laminated that you can write on with dry-erase markers or if you are old school, get a chalkboard and some chalk.  Purchase a calendar that shows the entire year and can be written on with dry-erase markers.  Find lots of colored sticky notes of various sizes (I like the 3” x 3” size) and add a package of giant White Paper “Post its” (25” x 30”).

Start brainstorming with your spouse and talk about all the things that would make retirement for you amazing.  For this exercise, there are no constraints.  Don’t let worrying about time and money limit your ideas. Each person can write their dreams on a pile of sticky notes.  Be sure that you write only one idea on each sticky note.  Go crazy, because it is not real, it is just little pieces of paper. 

Then put up a large white post-it and start sharing your dream notes, one at a time.  Place your dream notes on one side and your partners on the other.   For each idea, listen to your partner and probe deeper with questions like, “Tell me more”, “Why do you like this idea so much?”, Is this something you’ve always wanted to do?”.  The point here is to make a safe space in your relationship to dream and listen.  Try very hard not to make negative comments or criticize a dream.  I always say when we are brainstorming at work, “There are NO bad ideas!”.

Take turns sharing your ideas until they are all up in front of you on the post-it.  Take a few moments just to look at your list.  Now the best thing you can do is stop here and sleep on it!  The next day, you’ll be glad you did because your subconscious mind will be processing all of this new information.  They’ll be less emotional and it gives each person the ability to have a deeper understanding of their partner’s dreams without the pressure of having to make a real decision.

Retirement ProjectThe next time you take a look at this, start by asking yourselves a few questions.  “Where do we overlap?”  “Are there any of our dreams that match either closely are almost exactly?”  Talk about those for a while.  Are there lots of them or just a few?  Move those notes to another page that says, “How can we make these dreams a reality?”  You can begin the steps toward comparing your dreams to your financial situation.  You can decide together with your priorities, how much they’ll cost, and identify options to make the same dream happen but maybe at a lower cost.

Next, look objectively at where you don’t align at all.  That should be okay as long as there are at least a few things you want to do together.  Knowing what these things are can be the beginning of some wonderful opportunities for compromise and negotiation.  Turn off the television and grab a beverage on the patio, take a walk, or go out for dinner, just find a place wherever you can focus on listening to each other.  For a couple to be healthy, I think there is always a balance.  There are things that my husband loves and it would be unfair of me to ask him to give them up.  There are things that I love to do that I don’t want to give up, and fortunately for me, he would never ask.  

Retirement seems to be an amazing chance to re-imagine your life, have deep conversations with your partner about what is important, and a chance to create a flexible plan on how to get there.  This is just one step in the process of making a plan.  I’ll share with you what comes next when I get a chance.  Now back to work.

Practicing for Retirement with Barbara Mock

Practicing for Retirement with Barbara MockWe continue to follow Barbara Mock through her retirement journey. For the next year, she is letting us live vicariously through her eyes, telling us what it’s like to go through the stages of retirement.

Practicing for Retirement

For many people, traveling is one of the things they enjoy most about retirement. Barbara took some time off of work and went on a little mini practice retirement. She and her husband went on a trip to Priest Lake Idaho with some friends they have known for over 40 years and have kept in contact with. Everything sort of fell together last minute and she said it was magical and even thought to herself, is this what retirement could be like?

Having fun with friends that they have known forever and ever kind of made her realize that maintaining friendships over a long period of time is really going to be something valuable to as we retire.

Priest Lake

It was 96 degrees. You’re in a mountain lake. I hope you guys look it up. Look at the photos look on Google Earth. It’s crystal blue, pristine water. You can see to the bottom, even when it’s quite deep, and it’s really remote.

After 3 days, their friends had to go back to work so Barbara and her husband dusted of their camping equipment went camping at Farragut State Park in Lake Pend Oreille. They hadn’t camped in the dirt for 20-25 years. They put up their tent, watched the stars, and had a romantic time. We talked about the next day where Barbara and her husband met a couple and shared a boat ride and a meal with them. What both of them learned is that you can make friends anywhere if you’re open to it.

Your Spouse and Retirement

Not only has she been practicing for retirement, but Barbara has also been doing a lot of reading and research. She wants to plan for the emotional outlook of retirement, but how it will impact her relationship.  Her husband is not as willing to research but will discuss it. During a 7-hour car ride on Barbara’s practice retirement/ vacation, she learned a lot. She learned that her husband has sort of been putting his retirement on hold waiting for her to retire and that he loves golf. Her husband had taken up a sport that Barbara loved and she wanted to make sure that she was taking an interest in things he loves as well.

They have also been having conversations every day. There is an enormous amount of planning and preparation it is taking her to prepare. She had no idea how many checklists and things you need to get in order prior to retirement. Social Security, financial planning, estate planning, medical insurance, social life, traveling, downsizing, or moving, among many other decisions that have to be made.

Focusing on work

Barbara does find it a little difficult to focus on work with her impending retirement. Especially after her practice retirement vacation. However, with work being very busy right now, it helps her stay focused on her job.

Pretty much everyone at work knows by now that Barbara is retiring. Some offer advice and most tell her she will love it. Barbara did reach out to an old colleague who has been retired for about 10 years. What she told Barbara was amazing. It was so inspiring. She’s in her 70s, her husband’s in his 80s. And she said, keep moving, move, don’t become fragile. She and her husband have stand up paddleboards, they go kayaking, and they are avid snow skiers, they ski all over the world and in the US. She has a bike that she rides; she has an organic garden, and she does yoga and works out every morning! So that was her advice. Stay strong, exercise, and keep working out so that you can do the things in your retirement that you want to do.

Have you thought about practicing for retirement? Or if you have already retired, how did you prepare? Were there things that were surprising to you? Let us know in the comments below.

Read all of Barbra’s blog posts by visiting https://www.rockyourretirement.com/blog/

Episodes and websites Mentioned

What a retiring Executive Needs besides Money

Your Retirement Quest by Alan Spector and Keith Lawrence

Afford Anything Podcast

Fritz Gilbert- Creating a Retirement Jar

This post on Retirement and Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com

Farewells During a Pandemic – Ep 247

Farewells During a PandemicRetirement is a time that marks the passage from a life full of work to a life of leisure, accomplishment, and choice. As most people feel defined by their job, that transition to retirement is not always easy. Like other major life transitions, it can be filled with various emotions and concerns and it has been a crazy two weeks of farewell for Barbara. Not everyone would actually go through what she did, but some people would. And it’s good to be prepared for the emotional roller coaster. Besides, retirement marked as a life passage into the next chapter of your life.

One Farewell After Another

It starts with your retirement letter which was really hard to write. Barbara wanted to be really thoughtful, but she also wanted to say goodbye to her county executive who had faith in her to be a leader. Then you have to send a letter to HR and give them all the details of what you want with your leave time. That one letter unleashed a whole bunch of things.

The first one was on that following week, the county council entered into a joint resolution with our county executive. Barbara was really humbled to be on my vacation called by the Council, you need to be at this meeting on Monday. it was so humbling to have the county executive and accounting Council, not only say nice things but actually adopt a resolution that will be in the county record forever.

Farewell to Co-Workers

No matter how much you’ve looked forward to the day of leaving your place of employment when the day comes, it might be a surreal experience. Make your transition easier for yourself and others by letting people that have touch your heart. Anyone Barbara could think of that God brought to mind that she needed to say a special word of goodbye. Sometimes she connected with them and they’d either burst into tears or were delighted, or exchanged phone numbers.

A couple of people Barbara could tell were online. But they didn’t pick up and she thought, Oh, well, maybe they’re on a break. So then she’d leave on a really nice voicemail saying goodbye, saying if you want to stay in touch, and a few of them emailed her back and said, I’m sorry, I just couldn’t take the call. I didn’t want to cry. But on those hard days, when things are going bad, I’m going to play your voicemail.

Finally, I’m Retired

I’m retired, I’ve been learning a lot, Barbara said. Next week, we fly to Arizona for kind of a romantic anniversary trip, combinedFarewells During a Pandemic with golf and sightseeing. It feels very strange. I Barbara have to mentally tell herself, you will never work again. You don’t have a schedule. You don’t have to worry about anything today. She thought it’d be harder to detach than it is. But when you don’t have email or an office or things calling too, you really don’t know what’s going on, you dismiss the people that you were with. It’s weird. It’s just plain weird to not have that, especially when you’ve been doing something like this for so long, to just all of a sudden be on a permanent vacation.

Retiring is Super Emotional

What was lost can be restored. And that is all your hopes, all your dreams. It’s temporary. And if I’m an indicator of anything that’s going forward, whatever it was, you felt like you missed out during the pandemic will be restored, but you’ll be so much more grateful for it. The other thing I was learning, just hearing people is telling people how you feel about them in life before the memorial service. And that when God brings someone across your path, by showing them love or encouragement or empathy, you just don’t know the impact it’s going to have on them for that moment or that day. Exchange contact info with people that you want to stay in touch with. It’s too overwhelming to do it all at the end. So give yourself some time for those people that you want to stay in touch with.

Do you have any questions for Barbara?

Do you have any just general questions? Email us your questions at [email protected] and we will try to answer them in the show.

Read all of Barbara’s blog posts by visiting https://www.rockyourretirement.com/blog/

Mentioned in this episode:

Six Pillars of Retirement Lifestyle

This post of Retirement and Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com

What’s my identity?  What is my new look?

I’ve been thinking a lot about retirement these days, even when I’m in the midst of work.  I’m realizing with the pandemic, the clothing wardrobe I needed before What’s my identity?the crisis is very different than the one I’ll probably need post-pandemic and my departure from full-time employment.

In my role as a department director, I attended numerous business meetings, chaired several planning committees, traveled to conferences, and did a bit of public speaking.  I have shoes, dress pants, and skirts, jackets, and blazers, blouses and scarves, and jewelry.  It is almost like having a set of uniforms or my armor.  I’m realizing that I have made a fairly large financial investment in a work-appropriate wardrobe. It was expected. 

But now with the pandemic, I really just need a professional look on top and can get away with shorts and flip flops or my slippers on the bottom.  My pandemic life, working from home, means I attend a continuous series of on-line meetings.  Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Go to Meeting and BlueJeans are all platforms that don’t require getting fully dressed and being put together.  What I find interesting is that I haven’t purchased anything new for work since last fall and I don’t think I will before I retire.  In fact, I haven’t put on a pair of regular shoes yet.  This has never happened to me before.

I’ve always had a few items that are activity-related, like work-out wear, running, biking, and hiking clothes. But I don’t really have casual clothes.  I’m understanding that my clothing is tied to my identity today, but going forward, I’m not at all sure what my new identity will be.  I don’t want to buy things just to buy them, so I’m waiting.  I wonder sometimes if others who have transitioned from an executive position to a more casual lifestyle experienced this perception of a changing identity?

Clothing is just a part of it though.  I have been coloring my hair for years and years. Up until now,  I just didn’t feel like I was “old” enough to be gray or at least let it go salt and pepper.  With the pandemic though it was nearly four months before we were allowed to get a cut and color at a salon.  By then I had decided if I’m already a grandmother and I’m retiring, I’m going more natural.  As my hair has changed, sometimes when I walk by a mirror or a glass with a reflection, I don’t recognize myself.

What is my new look?For relaxation and to complete a more polished look, I used to go and get a manicure and pedicure every month.  I found that I loved the warm water soak, the scrubbing, and especially the massage.  When things were stressful at work I called this “self-care”.  Now I haven’t had a mani-pedi for over six months!

I’m becoming really confused at this point.  What is my new identity?  Who will I be after I retire?  What things will I be doing?  What clothing will I need?  How will I want to look?

I’m excited about trying something new as far as my identity and my look, but at this point, I think I’ll just cozy up by the fire, and put a warm blanket on my lap because fall is approaching.  I’m thinking I can save some money for now and wait and see what spring and retirement brings.

If you have already traveled this road already, I would love to hear how you navigated converting a work wardrobe into a retirement one.  Did you store it away, donate to the thrift store, or share it with others?  Did you do this over time or did you purge the old and go on a shopping spree for the new?  I would love to hear your story.  Please share it in the comments section!

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