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Retirement Success

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Retirement Success

“The whole notion of retirement has been radically changed. Formerly we thought of retirement as the beginning of the end; today we simply think of retirement as a new beginning. The retirement transition is actually the beginning of a new career/life stage called RENEWAL.” Richard P. Johnson, Ph.D., author of The New Retirement

When I facilitate workshops on Retirement Success, I like to start with a question. ”What is your first thought when I mention the word retirement?” Most people say ‘money’. We spend our time planning for the financial aspect of retirement. Of course this is important, but it is not the only factor. We often spend more time planning for a two week trip than we do for retirement. Just as we plan for a trip, we need a road map for where we are going for the rest of our life.

Our work life fulfills five basic needs of life:

  1. Financial
  2. Time management
  3. Sense of purpose
  4. Status or role in society
  5. Social

Let’s have a look at each of these areas. Our financial needs are fulfilled by working. For a successful retirement, we need adequate financial security to maintain our desired life-style. Money cannot guarantee retirement success, but it does play a central role in overall satisfaction in retirement. A key question is: How much is enough? Being human, our answer is usually ‘a little more.’! We need to consider our priorities for retirement: family, leisure, friends, home, travel, material possessions, physical health etc. and ask ourselves how much money will I really need?

Our time is managed for us, to a large extent, by work.  Work gives structure to our life and keeps us in the mainstream of life. We know where we will be Monday morning. Once retired, we are in charge of all this time. How will we manage it? There are 168 hours in the week. If we give ourselves 56 hours to sleep, 56 hours to work (allowing for travel and overtime), we have 56 hours left. When we retire, we will be in charge of 112 hours – we need a plan. How will we structure our time?

Work provides a sense of purpose or utility. It gives some meaning to our life. No matter what our work is, we are needed in some way. How can we replace this in retirement?

Through our work, we have a certain status or role in society. In fact, many of us take our personal identity from our work.  We are often so invested in our work that our jobs define not only what we do, but who we are. In planning for retirement many options are open to us.  It might be another full time job, part time work, volunteer work or maybe starting that business you always dreamed of. What might your new role be?

Finally, work brings us in contact with many other people and provides socialization.  We connect with others, form relationships and even friendships in the workplace. Many times, these relationships end once we leave the workplace. We have all heard the expression: ‘friends for a season, friends for a reason, friends for life’. As not all friendships become friends for life, we need to ensure we have social contact in retirement. Research suggests a strong correlation between social interaction and health and well-being. Finding new avenues of social interaction are crucial.

Retirement can be the most exciting life phase, offering the freedom to do whatever we want. It is our invitation to grow, learn, and experience life in a new way. It can also challenge us in ways we never thought of. The key, of course, is planning. By using the five factors as a base, we can develop the plan and experience retirement as a most exciting time of renewal. 

  • For a more detailed assessment, take the Retirement Success Profile survey, which looks at 15 factors for a successful retirement. Research suggests that individuals are more productive at work if they have a solid plan for retirement in place.

Posted by Heather Erhard at 12:00 AM 0 Comments



Set Goals That Work

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Some people are great at setting goals and meeting them almost every time. Others set the goals and move forward for a while, but somehow they fall off the radar. Others have given up setting goals altogether.

So, how to set goals that work? One way to motivate us to meet our goals is to go deeper. By that I mean, what are the underlying reasons we want to accomplish that goal. I had a coaching client whose goal for many years had been to swim three times each week. It never happened. We started to dig a little deeper.

Why do you want to swim three times a week – to get fit. Why do you want to get fit – to feel better. What will feeling better give you – I will be able to play with my children again.

He put a picture of himself playing with his children on his desk. That picture motivated him to get to the pool three times a week.

So, after you set your goal, keep asking yourself ‘why’ and ‘what will that give you’, until you reach that underlying motivator. Try it, it works!

Posted by Heather Erhard at 12:00 AM 0 Comments



The One Word Resolution

Friday, January 01, 2016

January is the time many of us set New Year's Resolutions. How many times have you thought about what you wanted to accomplish in the new year, made a list and posted it on your desk, computer, phone or fridge, only to find a month or six weeks later it is not happening. We all know how busy the gym is in January – we just have to wait a month and things will calm down!

How about trying another strategy – the One Word Resolution or theme for the year. What is it that will help you be more successful, give more meaning or focus to your life? One year I had a coaching client who chose the word 'brave'. One thing he wanted was to expand and deepen his relationships both professionally and personally. By keeping this word foremost in his mind, he did things he never would have done – invite people for coffee or lunch, start conversations, initiate contact with family and friends are just some examples. He said this one word changed his life.

What might your word be? Here are some questions for reflection to help you find that One Word.

  1. What do I want more of?
  2. What do I want less of?
  3. What has been the key to my success to date?
  4. Where do I need to focus to move to the next level of success?
  5. What will give my life more meaning?
  6. What opportunity is waiting for me?
  7. Who and how do I want to be, moving forward?

Now, what is your word?

Posted by Heather Erhard at 12:00 AM 0 Comments



The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people. - Theodore Roosevelt

Thursday, August 28, 2014
How true – it takes more than being good at a job to achieve success. Have you ever heard (or said), if it wasn`t for the people……this would be a great place to work! Yes, people are the source of our greatest satisfaction and our greatest dissatisfaction. Often we barrel through life `just being me - I`m being honest, authentic, real’, why can’t I get along with everyone. Maybe because the other person’s ‘honest, authentic real’ is not the same as yours!
Myers Briggs Personality Types is a great way to understand ourselves and those different from us. Let me give you a quick overview. It consists of four sets of preferences – each of us leaning more toward one side or the other.

Sensing (S) – concrete, realistic, practical, detailed
Intuition (N) – abstract, imaginative, theoretical, big picture

Thinking (T) – logical, reasoning, objective, makes decisions with the head
Feeling (F) – empathetic, compassionate, tender, makes decisions with the heart

Extraversion (E) – expressive, verbalizes thoughts, energized by people and things
Introversion (I) – contained, reflective, verbalizes conclusions, energized by time alone

Judging (J) – planned, scheduled, decisive, focuses on finishing the task
Perceiving (P) – open ended, flexible, spontaneous, likes to start tasks, doesn’t have to finish

Which one in each pair is more like you?
Let me give you some light hearted examples. Js like their cupboard doors closed – open a door; close a door, normal, right? No, says the P – leave it open, I will just be going back there in a minute, as J bumps her head on the open door! Js like to plan ahead, avoid last minute rush – makes sense? No, says the P, I do my best work last minute.

How about Es and Is and the Friday night party that no one wants to go to? Both say at the door, ‘we will leave early’. Is gracefully leave at 9:30, but Es get energized by the people and the event and end up being the last to leave! Es verbalize their thoughts, Is verbalize their conclusions or decisions. How about the E talking about an idea for a trip with an I friend. Two weeks later the I friend has already booked the trip and the E is wondering what happened – did I say that?

Or, Ts and Fs doing a hiring interview. The F says, I think she’s the one, I really like her. Ts ask, which of our criteria does she meet? Years ago – my T wasn’t allowing me to get a cat - more cons than pros, but I really wanted a cat, so decided to make an F decision and went with the heart! I never regretted it!

Or Ss and Ns – details vs big picture. The N is very enthusiastic about a new idea and how great it will be! The S starts asking about the details, which the N doesn’t have and isn’t particularly interested in! How to win that S over? Get some detail.

How do we all get along, you wonder? First, self understanding. If I know my preference and how I think and come across, I can use my opposite when necessary to communicate with someone different from me. Another way is to meet half way. For example, if I am a very structured J, I can meet my P pal in the middle – maybe we don’t have to have everything ready two weeks in advance, maybe one week will do!

One goal is to understand our natural type and then learn to use our opposite, so we can choose in any situation the most appropriate and effective preference to use. When we can get to the place of laughing at our differences, rather than our differences being a source of tension, we have arrived!

Posted by Heather Erhard at 9:40 AM 0 Comments



Mindfulness

Tuesday, September 03, 2013
My word of the season is mindfulness. What a wonderful word – to really be there wherever we are or whatever we are doing. I just read an article, in Mindful magazine, where the Police Service in Portland, Oregon are training some of their police officers in mindfulness techniques to deal with stress, be more focused on the job, and connect more meaningfully with the people they serve. What would that mean for each of us every day? What would happen if we gave 100% attention to the next employee who walks into our office, to our child when she gets home from school, to our spouse, partner or friend? Multitasking, so popular for the past few years is on the way out. Researchers report multitasking can result in up to a 40% drop in productivity. It has been proven we can only truly focus on one thing at a time.

Start to practice today. You do not have to sit like a yogi, cross legged on a mat to practice mindfulness. You can practice by going for a walk, enjoying the wind in your hair, the sun on your face, writing that report like it was the only thing in the world you had to do, listening to a colleague like it was the most important story in the world. What might be the impact on you, on them? Start by making a conscious effort to do this several times each day. What might help you do this?

  • Turning off your cell phone?
  • Not checking email?
  • Setting priorities for the day and following them?
  • Closing your door?
  • Letting voice mail do its work?

How about getting started today and see what happens……. 

Posted by Heather Erhard at 2:25 PM 0 Comments