The reason we need retirement coaching is because most of society has been taught that if we save enough money and have a financial plan, everything else will fall into place.
The reality is, retirement has a lot of moving pieces and it can be incredibly stressful. In fact, according to the Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory, retirement is ranked 10th out of 43 stressful life events.
People go into these years with the best intentions but may find that their plans unravel as a wide range of thoughts and feelings surface and life events such as changes in finances and health occur that aren’t always fun or easy to talk about, let alone work through.
Since these feelings and issues are not typically addressed within traditional retirement planning, individuals and couples who don’t plan for the mental, social, physical, and spiritual aspects of retirement can be faced with:
o Enjoying the “honeymoon” phase of retirement and then feeling that “something’s missing.”
o Wasting the first few years of retirement trying to figure out “who am I?”
o Wondering why retirement doesn’t look or feel the way they thought it would, questioning their decision to retire, dwelling on the past, and worrying what they could have done differently.
o Struggling to lead an active lifestyle because of physical ailments.
o Feeling robbed or cheated because of the loss of a spouse or family member, divorce, or medical diagnosis.
o Trying to overcome frustration with adult children who may see their parents as an unlimited bank account, or always on call and ready to respond to their every need.
o Feeling unappreciated or rejected because of not being re-elected to the condo board or homeowner’s association, not getting invited to be a part of the community dinner or not asked to join a group of friends to attend a gathering.
o Anxiety that their constant worrying and complaining may push family and friends away.
o Feeling less confident because they can’t drop the extra weight they’ve put on, despite their best efforts.
o Drinking at noon or earlier because, when no one calls or stops by, it’s the only thing that helps them through the day.
o Feeling socially awkward because they don’t fit in at the senior center or with friends who are still working.
o Feeling isolated because declining hearing or vision limits their ability to connect with others.
We recognize that this may be a frightening list to read. However, a coach’s job is to make sure clients are aware of these issues, so they can control the parts of their life that are under their control. That is why retirement coaching is a crucial component of a comprehensive retirement plan.
· Other skills that may require development include:
· Learning ways to communicate about difficult issues
· Learning how to say “No” to adult children or other family members or friends
· Stopping a sibling from sabotaging an aging parent
· Developing a schedule for getting out of the house, learning new things, and meeting new people
· Rekindling old passions or forgotten hobbies
· Exploring different work or volunteer options
· Learning from mistakes and not dwelling on the past
· Letting go of a grudge and being able to forgive
· Feeling gratitude
· Developing a “realistic optimism” about life and aging
Retirement coaching is a process whereby client and coach explore all aspects of designing a dynamic and rewarding retirement lifestyle, and serves to guide the client towards implementing a plan of action. Broadly defined, it is the process of helping clients prepare for and transition into everyday retirement life and beyond.
It’s also important to point out what retirement coaching is not.
It’s not confined to an office, a specific intake process, or static questionnaire.
It can be in person, on the phone or with a video platform.
It is not therapy.
In general, therapy is a process whereby a person is helped to understand how their past impacts the present.
Coaching is a process whereby the past is only addressed if it presents an obstacle to moving forward with a current goal.
Retirement coaching is rapidly evolving.
Services may include sharing essential or helpful resources, offering group workshops, focusing exclusively on a niche such as women or couples, or assisting retirees to start their own businesses.