If you are like most baby boomers, you are looking forward to your well deserved retirement. It is the goal/dream you've literally been working towards your whole life. "Ah, the day I don't have to work for a living, I'll be doing … _________________" fill in the blank. What will you be doing when you don't have to report to your job any longer?
Will you be happy playing golf 24/7, weeding the garden or watching the grand kids? So what will you do with all your free time? Sure, you can volunteer a bit. Will that fulfill your dreams? Many retirees struggle with how to feel fulfilled after they've retired. This feeling of boredom doesn't happen right away of course, it may take months. Then the itching to do something worth-while begins.
Doesn't it make sense to start planning today what you'll be doing? Perhaps you want to do some consulting work. You'll need to start building that business before you retire because you'll need work contacts to help spread the word. Starting a business takes time and money, you'll have a head start if you begin the process before you retire.
The other thing to consider is if you really will be content living on a fixed income for the rest of your life (perhaps 30 years). If that doesn't scare you, it should. Most people probably won't receive lifetime health insurance benefits. Those can be costly to pick up on your own. Will you have enough to pay for them?
What about your life-style. Will you be able to live the life you are accustomed to? What sacrifices will you have to make? If you don't want to initially make those trade-offs, what could you do to gain some income? What talent or expertise do you offer that would be of value to others? (ie. what would someone pay you to do?) This question should sound familiar if you've ever be unemployed.
It is never too early to create an awareness of your expertise/talents. Start today while those talents are fresh and alive. Build your brand so you can rely on it in the future.
I read a lot of blogs and here is some more great advice about planning for your next phase of life (we won't call it retirement, because that concept probably won't exist in the future).
Do Mature Workers Need Career Plans?
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.