What do you do? Who are you?
As you get closer to retiring, those are the questions you can expect others to ask you.
Retirement planning involves more than just financial planning. Planning mentally and physically are just as important.
After years as association professionals, you suddenly find yourself answering the easy but difficult question “who are you.”
Nanci Hellmich’s USA Today article headlined “Preparing yourself mentally for retirement” tracks the tough questions and provides guidance good for association CEOs who are heading toward retirement.
- "When you retire, you have to establish a new identity, purpose and relationships.”
The USA Today piece shares information from Nancy Schlossberg’s book Revitalizing Retirement: Reshaping Your Identity, Relationships, and Purpose; and Retire Smart, Retire Happy. which is based on interviews with retirees.
To prepare yourself mentally for retirement, Schlossberg recommends taking a hard look at three areas of your life:
- Your identity.
- Your purpose/mission.
- Your relationships.
- Continuers who keep using existing skills and interests.
- Adventurers who start entirely new endeavors.
- Searchers who explore new options through trial and error.
- Easy gliders who enjoy unscheduled time letting each day unfold.
- Involved spectators who care deeply about the world, but engage in less-active ways.
- Retreaters who take time out or disengage from life.
After selling my association management company, I was forced to come up with a new answer to the "what do you do" question. That's partly why I created SCD Group Inc.
In looking at Schlossberg’s categories, it appears I am a “continuer.” What are you? As you look ahead to retiring from your association career, what will you be? If you are 55 or older, it is not too soon to start planning for this mental shift.