What’s the most important thing to consider as you transition into retirement?
The obvious answer is making sure you’re financially stable…
…but what about after that?
Work demanded so much of your time and provided more than just money to you.
Now you’ll be in command of your time and will need to provide those other intangibles to yourself.
Let’s dive into it…
How much time will you have?
We’ll start out with some simple math.
There are 168 hours in a week.
To make this easy, we’ll say there are 40 hours in the work week and five hours per week commuting.
That means, at a minimum, 27% of your week has been spent in work or getting to and from it.
These numbers are on the low end.
So what’s this mean?
It means you’re getting a big chunk of your time back and you’ll get to decide what to do with it.
To help make sure you’re getting the most out of this time as you transition into retirement, I spoke to Patricia Doyle, the author of the book and blog Retirement Transition.
She created the blog to help others learn how to move from working as a workaholic to living life and fully embracing a 21st century retirement lifestyle.
Very fitting for this topic.
Retirement is about life
One of the first things she said to me was, “I knew how to work. I worked for 30 plus years with the same company. I wasn’t quite sure how to live a life.”
That’s a powerful statement because it’s not something we often put thought to.
Work is there. It takes up all of that time and pretty much everything else revolves around it.
When you wake up. When you can go on vacation. When you go to sleep.
There’s not much deep thought put to it.
“The important thing about retirement transition is to figure out – what do you want your life to be?” Pat shared.
“The important thing about retirement transition is to figure out – what do you want your life to be?” ~ Patricia Doyle
Now is your time to slow down and intentionally plan to create your life instead of having your life happen to you.
What’s this have to do with starting a business?
You’re now in control of how you spend your time, so let’s make sure you’re starting a business that supports the life you want.
The needs your work fulfilled
Let’s take a step back for a moment and look at the needs in your life that work fulfilled.
“I don’t think people realize how many of your needs work fulfilled,” said Pat.
Putting the financial piece aside, Pat continued, “There are four other needs work fulfilled. You need to understand what you personally need because that will help you define how your business can fulfill those needs.”
She shared those four needs that work fulfilled that you’ll need to now meet on your own.
We’re going to break those down and give examples of how your business might meet those needs.
“For many people their job defines who they are,” Pat said.
“I’m a teacher. I’m a nurse. I’m a doctor. Their job is part of their innate identity.
“When that job is gone and people say ‘What do you do?’
“The other aspect of identity is your status. Sometimes your job came with perks and recognition.”
How your business might fulfill your need for identity: This is a near one to one swap from saying what you used to do to the new business you started.
“Your job gave you a sense of utility,” shared Pat.
“You did something everyday. You were productive everyday and had a sense of feeling useful.”
How your business might fulfill your need for achievement: This comes down to why you’re starting your business. When that’s clearly defined, it makes it easier to know if you’re moving towards that goal.
“I realized when I retired, I lost 80% of the people I communicated with daily,” Pat said.
“I lost my people who validated me and stimulated my thinking.
“They were my devil’s advocate on my ideas. I had people to bounce ideas off of. I had people to stimulate conversations with.
“After a while, the only person I had to talk to was my husband and he didn’t want to hear about my weekend because he lived it with me.
“So you need to replace that whole socialization aspect.”
How your business might fulfill your needs for socialization: Nearly all online training programs have socialization and community built into them with private Facebook groups or something similar. The support and socialization is built into the training.
“When the structure of your job goes away, it can be scary,” said Pat.
Like we talked about earlier it provided so much structure that it dictated nearly everything else in your life.
How your business might fulfill your needs for structure: You can set your “office hours” for when you’ll work on your business to provide some guidelines for you.
Does your business need to fulfill all your needs?
The answer is…it’s up to you.
It all depends on the question Pat asked, “What do you want to do with your life?”
Knowing these are the needs that will need to be met, it’s up to you to decide how you’ll meet them. Will it be through your business? Or will it be elsewhere?
Note: this article originally appeared at RetirementRedefinition.com.
About the Author: Mike Lieberman is founder of Retirement Redefinition. He’s worked in the online marketing field since 2000 and has worked for companies ranging from the Philadelphia 76ers (NBA) to early stage startups to well-established 100-year old organizations (Dale Carnegie Training). Lieberman also created the blog Urban Organic Gardener.
For more information about retirement work and volunteer options, read here.