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Mary Ann
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Eventually, you come to the realization that you honestly want to exit the Merry-Go-Round of Work and go home. What dreams do you harbor for your retirement years?  Do you have a bucket list or maybe a longing for stress free contentment?

I am often inspired by speakers sharing their genuine success stories.  Visions of conquering those seemingly impossible challenges have always awakened my inner strength. Last year, as I enjoyed a particularly powerful speaker, the reality of my age hit me.  I was forced to acknowledge my energy limitations, and even consider that I might only have enough remaining for a few more significant lifetime challenges.

Writing has been a passion for me and this website/blog was needed to establish my next chapter.   I took a vast leap of faith into retirement last October to make it happen.  Yes, it was worth it!  I’m having such fun building a writing platform, sharing my journey, and hoping to impact you in a positive way.   And now, I find my inner strength revived and feeling frisky again.  Releasing my creativity has generated new energy for me.  I encourage you to find your own bliss while your tank is still ¾ full.

Now, it’s time to discuss the elephant in the room.

The one thing I’ll say about the financial side of retirement is, “For most of us, it’s scary”.  Just remember, you may have more options than you realize.

Spend some serious time putting pen to paper regarding your expenses and options.  If you’re married, your spouse should be involved in every step.  Since I’m divorced, I found it helpful to share my plans with my daughters.  10,000 people are turning 65 every day in our America and the internet is loaded with tools to help you.   Maybe you already have a Financial Planner.  If not, consider using a professional to review your situation.  Make time to totally focus and give yourself the opportunity to “try it on for size” as you visualize a realistic retired future:  downsized housing, location near family and friends, accessible medical services, budget considerations, reduced needs, etc., etc…  The thought of cleaning out your basement can stop you in your tracks.

Please take this advice to heart; you need to take care of these things while you are still physically able.  My dear Mother’s basement and her entire house became my responsibility when she was in her 80’s.  At the time, I was dealing with a demanding job and family issues.  I vowed never to leave my children with such responsibility and I now live in a condo without a basement.

If total financial retirement is not within your reach, maybe you can warm to the concept of a less stressful part-time job combined with any retirement benefits and Social Security.

Self-employed individuals have unique options. If you plan to sell your business, buyers often prefer to retain you as an employee for at least a year or two.  This turn-key agreement can be a wonderful way for you to approach retirement.  On the other hand, if your business will close when you retire, you may prefer to gradually downsize by reducing your marketing efforts.  With fewer clients to serve, you may be able to shorten your workdays or even work part-time.

Whatever the situation, you’re making a life changing move here.  Once you leave a career, you may never have that level of opportunity again due to your advancing age. (OK, I warned you this is scary)  Somehow you have to find confidence that you can still do whatever it takes to keep a roof over your head.

Once you have all the details worked out,

you’ll know exactly when to make your move. Each work situation has different Retirement Notice procedures.  Provide your written resignation to Management in the time frame appropriate to your job requirements.  They will need time to post the opportunity and hire your replacement.

The stronger your identity connection with your job, the more time you should allow yourself to process the change.  I speak from experience when I say,  it is emotionally painful to let go of the job and people you really care about. Handing off your responsibilities to someone else and realizing you’re no longer that person on your business card feels like a part of you is missing………….just for awhile.  As your job responsibilities diminish, the “personal you” blooms again.  Even before your final day in the office, you’ll notice the enjoyable pace in your workday and the appreciation you feel for the opportunity and the people who have crossed your path.  You’re letting go and it’s OK, because a window is opening. You’ll sense a new freedom and anticipation to embrace that next chapter in your life.

Stop by next Friday and meet my Boomer Sisters……………….Mary Ann