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.