8 Ways to Ease the Shift
Everybody talks about being retired, but less common is the in-between period when you may no longer be working full-time, yet are not what you might consider “senior” (especially as this definition keeps getting revised upwards!). How can you help the reverse mortgage clients and prospects you serve (and perhaps their Boomer children) to ease the transition into retirement?
Life shifts can be tricky to navigate, at every stage. I remember thinking, a few weeks after starting my first professional job, “Is this all there is?” I was surprised that I felt like a fish out of water, since I’d worked since age 15. But this felt like the true end of childhood, and all I could think was, “Do I have 40 more years of 8 to 5 to look forward to?”
Re-tire Your Career Wheels and Tread A New Path
At the other end of the career spectrum, similar feelings may arise. No matter how illustrious one’s career — in fact, the more notable someone’s career path, the more challenging retiring may appear — at some point, most people will surrender this role for the mantle of retiree. It’s only the exceptional who are still teaching, inventing worthwhile products, or practicing medicine well into their eighties and nineties, though this number is also likely to increase along with healthy longevity.
Some of the best retirement wisdom comes from those who’ve been there. Ninety-year-old author and former war correspondent Roy Rowan writes, in Never Too Late: “Living happily without your old job title can be made easier by re-tiring the wheels of your career, so to speak, and driving off in a new direction.”
And this 86-year-old counsels retirees (or anyone in the second half) to ask themselves the one question that will change your life.
Here are eight practical suggestions to help your reverse mortgage clients — and the younger generation — prepare to transition into retirement:
1. Volunteer! From libraries, schools, and animal shelters to digital creativity (blogs, webinars, social media…), there are myriad ways to share your wisdom and support, online and in the physical world.
2. Launch a flexible, part-time gig from home, such as a neighborhood dog walking service.
3. Create a daily/weekly structure to stay healthy and engaged, including such staples as exercise, journaling/meditating or similar, and social activities.
4. Develop a daily check-in with a friend who is also about to retire, or one who has already retired and can support your transition.
5. Enroll in a lifelong learning course through such schools as the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) part of UC Berkeley, or the Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning at the University of San Francisco.
6. Explore The Transition Network, a national resource for women 50+.
7. Join or start a Meetup group that fits your interests, whether that’s dance or dream interpretation, hiking or Ham radio.
8. Become digitally literate. Now that you have the time, you might be amazed by what you can do on your laptop or smartphone. Resources such as New York’s Senior Planet Exploration Center call it “aging with attitude”!
Finally, maintain (or develop) your sense of humor most of all. While few of the chronologically gifted might wish to star in these movies, some of the titles are an lol (laugh out loud).