Friday, June 16, 2017

Push and Pull Factors

There are many factors that impact when we think is the best time to retire. One to consider is the push and pull factor. 

Push refers to the things about work that make you want to leave. They are pushing you toward retirement and away from work. These might be long hours, a stressful commute, hectic days, unreasonable deadlines, difficult supervisor, office politics, changing technology, etc.
Pull refers to the things that are attractive about retirement such as less stress, more control over your schedule, opportunities to explore new interests, travel, etc. Think of these as pulling toward retirement. Pull factors may also include attending to increasing responsibilities, such as caring for an elderly parent.
Since the decision of when to retire is so important, it is essential that you evaluate your push and pull factors.
What is pushing you away from work? Do you experience the push factors everyday or just some days?
Negative events have a way of holding our attention longer than positive events. If you keep a daily journal to record how you feel about your work, maybe you'll find that many days continue to bring you fulfillment and satisfaction.
A high school history teacher told me that he has a 4-day rule. If he has four bad days in a row, then he's going to retire. So far he hasn't gotten past three. This is his way to evaluate his push factors.
The pull factors also need to be evaluated. We think we want more time to do the things we enjoy doing, but we're not very good at assessing just how much time we need for those things. We're making the decision at a period when we don't have any extra time.
One way to try out your pull factors is to take an extended break from work so that you can "practice" being retired. Experience what it feels like to have so much unstructured time. Spend considerably more hours with your spouse or partner than you can when you’re working. How well do you manage idle time? Are you doing the things you wanted to do and experiencing the intentions that pulled you toward retirement?
I don't think there is a perfect time to retire. However, by knowing your push and pull factors, you'll be in a better position to make an informed decision.

Copyright 2017. Patrice Jenkins. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Retirement Manifesto

While in Barnes and Noble bookstore I was drawn to the beautiful cover of a new magazine. I sat down on a nearby chair and took a few minutes to delight in the lovely pictures and graphics. Surprisingly it was the last page of the magazine titled magnolia manifesto that really captured my attention. It was a statement of the founders' core values and beliefs. In a sense, the manifesto serves as a manual for how they aspirate to live their lives and lead their company. 

My inspiration for writing comes from a variety of places, and on this day it was simply the idea that a retirement manifesto could bring clarity and intention to how I want to live in retirement. And even more, maybe a manifesto could help couples to find their way in retirement.

What is a manifesto?
A manifesto is a statement of your core values. It may include beliefs, goals and wisdom you have gained over the years. When writing a manifesto, consider your vision for the future, what you believe to be true, and your intentions. Keep the language strong and affirmative. The meaning and purpose should be evident and explicit.

Getting started:
Begin by brainstorming ideas of how you want to experience your retirement years. You may find it easier to write a personal manifesto first, and then discuss a joint statement. You don't have to know exactly what you're going to write when you begin. And with time you'll probably want to amend your manifesto.

The following sentence stems will help you get started. Repeat or modify them so that they represent your beliefs and vision for the future.

We believe that…

We want to…

We know this to be true…

We believe in seeking…

We love…

We are committed to…

We want to live in a relationship where…

And of all heroic pursuits large and small, we believe there may be none greater than…

Once you have written your retirement manifesto, I suggest creating a beautiful document and displaying it where you'll regularly be reminded of your commitment to these core value and intentions. Don't forget to review your manifesto often. Amend it as life changes. Expand it as you grow and mature. This is a living document—a manual for creating the life you want to live in retirement.

Copyright 2017. Patrice Jenkins. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Announcing New Retirement Course!

If working isn't weird, then how can we take the "best of work" and bring it into the "best of retirement?"

A Guide to Take the Weirdness Out of Retirement explores what you will need in retirement that will create a sense of meaning and purpose at a time when you're no longer defined by your work title. So much of the weirdness of retirement comes from losing our sense of direction. In this course we explore how to create a "new normal" by embracing new roles, being involved in work that is greater than ourselves, and recreating conditions that contributed to our happiness at work.

If you're not interested in every day feeling like Saturday and Sunday, then you are going to love learning about new organizing concepts that are much bigger than a life of leisure. 
If you're not ready to give up work completely, you will be glad to learn how to regain the psychological benefits of work. 
And if you're worried that you don't have something that you are passionate about doing in retirement, in this course you only need to be curious and have an explorer mindset.
If you are facing the decision to retire, you will find support that will help you feel prepared to step into retirement. This is especially important if you are in a work environment where it is not "safe" to talk about retirement. This major life decision and transition is too complex to go it alone. 

This 2 1/2 hour online course is offered through—a global marketplace for learning and teaching online.

Course price $20 with coupon code: RETIREHAPPY 

I hope you'll try the free preview and share the coupon code with friends. 

Copyright 2017. Patrice Jenkins. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, May 15, 2017

A Three Quarter Life Break-Through

I often read business and career books that are targeted for Millennials—people born between 1980-2000. I'm drawn to these books because I believe Baby Boomers have a lot in common with our younger counterparts. We're back to figuring out what to do with our lives. And like the Millennial generation, we want more—more meaning, more engagement, and more of what matters.

My recent library search led me to Adam Smiley Poswolsky's new book, The Quarter Life Break-Through: Invent Your Own Path, Find Meaningful Work, and Build a Life that Matters. Poswolsky suggests the pathway to finding meaningful work and building a life that matters is to "figure out your why: why you wake up in the morning and what you want to do for the world."

I believe the same advice applies to those of us who are looking for a three quarter life break-through. Retirement happens to be a perfect opportunity to invent a new path, bring meaning to our days, and create a life that matters. But to do this we need to know our why.

We know how days feel when we don't have a why. We mindlessly roam around the house or shopping mall, or pass the hours in front of the TV or computer screen. Retirement was supposed to be bigger than this. And yet, many days are thoughtlessly wasted with nothing meaningful to do. We need a why.

This past week I was speaking with a man who has been retired about 3 years. He admits that he's still floundering, trying to find his way in retirement. "I thought if I just worked hard there would be a rainbow at the end." What this gifted person failed to consider is his reason to jump out of bed in the morning. He needs a why.

All this talk about needing a why, leads me to the question: "How do I find my why?" If I knew what it was, I would be doing it.  I'm suggesting that you just start doing something. When something grabs your attention, pay attention. Take action. According to authors Richard Leider and Alan Webber, "The only thing worse than doing something that might be wrong is doing nothing at all—which can’t be right. Once you start to act, you allow surprises to happen."

A quarter life break-through requires us to accept responsibility; to stop waiting for a road map and start drawing one. We may not know exactly where we're going, but the journey will reveal interesting discoveries. Along the way, we'll stumble upon several reasons to enthusiastically begin each day. We'll know our why.

Copyright 2017. Patrice Jenkins. All Rights Reserved.