For baby boomers, “finding yourself” was something we did in the ’60’s. By the time we reach our 60’s, we assume the question, “Who am I, man?” has been answered.
But, it’s likely the question will come up again in the first 100 days of retirement. With no plan in place for those first three months or so, the question often becomes:
"Who am I if I’m no longer a doctor?”
"Who will I be if I’m not the boss?"
“What am I worth without my work?"
The worst answer of all is no answer. It’s the American way to define yourself by what you do, but that’s the wonderful opportunity of retirement – to find out who you are with no restrictions on your time. Instead of doctor, boss or your job title, imagine yourself answering the question with these answers instead:
“I’m a part-time world traveler and full-time grandpa.”
“I’m opening a shop for retired woodworkers.”
“I’m a mentor for special needs teens.”
Most people find peace of mind in having a plan… a roadmap for the journey into the great unknown. Even if your golden retirement date is a few years away, thinking about “finding yourself” in retirement is a great exercise to do a few years early. As Bob Knight, professor of psychology and gerontology at the University of Southern California, suggests:
“Check in during your working life and look at how big a chunk of life work is and think about how much of ‘myself’ is based on work—and try to diversify that. Our culture puts a lot of emphasis on work, but there is a lot more to life than just working.”
You can find out how prepared and enthusiastic you are about finding yourself in retirement by taking our Fit-To-Retire readiness assessment.