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You’re Retired! Now What?!

By Marie Langworthy, NABBW’s Transforming Retirement Associate

Nowhere to go on Monday morning! No colleagues to meet for lunch! No money to pay for lunch! Guess what? News Flash! You are not alone. On a daily basis, thousands of boomers are grappling with these same three bogus realities. Jamie Chamberlin, in her January 2014 article, “Retiring Minds Want To Know,” observes that “Too few people consider the psychological adjustments that accompany this life stage, which can include coping with the loss of your career identity, replacing support networks you had through work, … and finding new and engaging ways to stay active.”

Are you one of those wondering what has happened to your career persona? While you were fretting about what to do with the rest of your life, life itself continued to continue.

  • You enrolled in that photography course you had always wished you could take, but your full-time job had always reigned supreme.
  • You began to frame some of your favorite creations, used Vistaprint to produce stationery and all sorts of gizmos for sale.
  • You set up your own Etsy site and account and learned how to use QuickBooks to manage your increasingly successful entrepreneurial business.
  • And that’s not all. You joined your community center’s water aerobics class, where you’ve met all types of interesting colleagues. One of them introduced you to a local book club; another invited you to their monthly travelling luncheon group, where each member takes a turn introducing a new eating venue!

And that’s not all. Since you have discovered the world of volunteering, your current dilemma is how much time can you devote to so many needy causes?

  • Should you volunteer to be a guide at your local aquarium?
  • Should you take on the responsibility of becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister?
  • Should you become involved in local politics … or veterans’ causes … or teenage suicide prevention?

Suddenly you realize that the three boogie men of retirement, i.e., lack of meaningful work, close friendship, and financial security, have all vanished. 

Your new business venture, coupled with your ample retirement income, has made financial security a non-issue.  Yes, your current finances allow you to more than just window shop! But more importantly, your new career has given meaning and purpose to this, your last best life passage.

As you invent your new reality, you and your family wonder how and when you ever had time to pursue that demanding career that consumed your time and effort for so many years.

And what about your initial ennui around your imagined loss of any social life after retirement? Where and how did this new cadre of friendships emerge to enrich your life?

Thanks to all your extra-curricular activities, your social calendar is filled to the brim with sky-diving, bungee jumping, parasailing, and mountain climbing.  (Or perhaps it’s more like movie-bingeing, playing Words with Friends, or walking the dog!)

About The Author 

In her current retirement career, she is fulfilling her long held compulsion to write.  Her new work takes the form of not only writing books, but blogging and contributing copy to client web sites.  Marie is living proof that you can realize your dreamed job. But you need to more than wish it; you must will it to happen.

In her two most recent co-authored books, Shifting Gears to Your Life and Work After Retirement (2ndedition), and Shifting Gears to Your Career Working OnLine, Marie and her co-author, Carolee Duckworth, provide a specific, exciting pathway and strategy for carrying out your ultimate retirement adventure. Both authors and readers can take pride in fact that the first edition of the former title won both a Nautilus Book Award as well as a Foreword’s IndieFab Winner Award.

Marie Langworthy can be reached at –

marielangworthy@att.net Transforming Retirement
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