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Plan Your Retirement with a Life Planning Professional

Posted Sep 12 2008 2:08pm

Lily Tomlin said: "All my life, I wanted to be somebody. Now I see I should have been more specific." Meg Newhouse, life planning consultant, began the article, "Some Change Should Be Planned," in Aging Well Magazine with Tomlin's quote, suggesting that most of us fail to plan for the so-called Third Age, the next step, after we leave our mid-life responsibilities.

What's to plan, you say? Haven't I always dreamed of the day when I don't have to wake up early, rush to get ready for work, bear the stress of commuting, the hassles of producing more and more so my employer will see me as a highly-motivated team player? I just want to rela..a..a..ax, do whatever I want, day after day...after I retire.

Well, many have found that that lack of planfulness has led to some not so positive outcomes. Like boredom, feelings of inadequacy, busyness, but no sense of purpose or meaning, lack of motivation, inability to complete the things on our dream list...like write that novel, exercise, volunteer. Instead they think, I can do it tomorrow. I have all the time in the world.

Why would you want to intentionally design (making room for serendipitous occurrences) the next step? Newhouse suggests that since we are living longer and healthier, we'll have 1/2 of our adult lives ahead of us. No longer can we believe: I've done all my growing and learning...now it's time to slow down, withdraw, "retire." Are you prepared to do that for 3 or 4 DECADES?

Baby Boomers are known for their high expectations for personal services and health care, for their activist history, for the desire to live life with gusto, and for the need to find purpose and meaning. To actualize those things in the next step of your life, BBs, you want to experiment, create, and intentionally plan for those decades where you are not subject to the structure and expectations of your employer, your children, and maybe not your parents.

Newhouse notes that there is a new profession of life planners available now, not merely financial planners as in the past. These are people who will partner with you to help you vision all the possibilities for how you want to conduct these "bonus years," She founded the Life Planning Network in New England, a resource for people who, like Lily Tomlin, want to "be somebody," but want to figure out ahead of time just who that somebody is in the 3rd Age.

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