Monthly Archives: March 2014

Travel Unnecessary for Fulfilled Life Post50

2014-03-04 16.20.55For many the first activity of a post-retirement life is to pack up and leave home for a far flung experience. For individuals who plan to continue to work Post50 taking a gap year is growing in popularity.

Seems we all want to be on the move. Travel is a top priority for 59% of retirees according to a 2013 study.

With late-in-life freedom, there’s a romantic notion to the idea of leaving home. We hear a siren song from Tahiti, the RV points westward, Italy beckons, New Zealand’s Milford Track craves our boots or ghosts of past lives plea for a visit to grandpa’s cabin deep in the Nantahala Forest with ten long lost cousins nearby.

Must we go? We must.

Compelled to enter a Post50 life with travel at the forefront, we pocket the AmEx, grab a neck pillow, Ziplock our snacks and set off  on a journey.

What I want to know is ‘why?’

What is to be accomplished or gained? Are we off to capture lost adventures of youth? Will you be happier after you see inside the Louvre? Will finding your center happen after 4 days walking on the Inca Trail?

As for that 40% who don’t have travel as a top priority, do they risk ending up on the low end on the totem pole of life satisfaction?

For the record, it is not documented that travel is necessary for a happy, well-lived life. (more…)

Posted in Reconstuct Retirement, Self-Management | 1 Comment

Why You Must Dare, Dream and Work…Forever

030 If work is not working for you, the forever in this post’s title is upsetting. More than that you say? Annoying. Dreadful. Nasty.

Let’s settle on stomach-turning and agree you are highly resistant to the idea you should work any longer than necessary – certainly not for the rest of your life.

You aren’t alone. When I suggest Post50 years are a time to plan how to extend a career arc, explore new work possibilities or get some entrepreneurial chops, people bristle and say:               

  • You have got to be kidding. No way do I want to work after I retire.
  • When you tell me I need to keep working after 65 I don’t even want to listen to you, Barbara.
  • I don’t need to work. I will have enough money.

It took me a while to understand the intense reaction against working after a traditional retirement age.

I have always enjoyed my work – except for one job as a sixteen-year-old sales person in women’s apparel at one of the Elder Beerman’s department stores in Dayton, Ohio.

Mr. Beerman, CEO, spotted me on one of his random walkabouts at the beginning of my summer season when there were no customers in the store. “Straighten those sweaters,” he said pointing to the perfect stacks I had just finished. “Always look busy,” Mr. B barked. “And the next time I see you, you will look busy.”

I hated that work more than any I would ever do.

If you work for this kind of jerk, are just worn out and tired of your job, chose work that has never given you any sense of satisfaction, or have lost zest for a chosen career, I get why you aren’t wild about the idea of working right up until your last breath.

Still, you’re going to want to work forever and I’ll bet you can’t wait until I tell you why.

So here we go. (more…)

Posted in Productive Longevity, Reconstuct Retirement | 7 Comments

The Aimless Post60 Tribe: Failing to Grasp the Meaning of Their Decade


Behind that social mask is personal truth - what we really believe about ourselves and what we're capable of.              - Phil McGraw
Behind that social mask is personal truth – what we really believe about ourselves and what we’re capable of. – Phil McGraw

If all goes well people will stop choosing traditional retirement and start living vibrant lives they have created.

They will use a framework of freedom, geography of place and a personal version of productivity. They will live as if inventing lives of productive longevity were the most natural thing in the world and as if their future of wellbeing depended on it- which it does.

Then AARP can cease shouting, “Sixty is the new 60.” We’ll already know it.

Marc Freedman, author of The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond MidLife, declared, “The sixty-somethings will invent an entirely new stage of life – between the end of middle adulthood and old age and retirement.”

I’m all for forging ahead with this new spirit of aging but Freedman’s forecast –now four years old – is not happening. There is no uprising of individuals enthusiastically engaged in transformation and the creative design for a new stage of life.

Instead, many of today’s individuals at 60 proceed using a bare outline of what they want in life.

So, Here’s the Deal.

Trying to figure out the decade while you’re in it is really hard to do.

The transition to late adulthood – without thoughtful planning – is one of the most precarious, interesting and increasingly important stages of life. (Hey, it’s your last thirty years on earth.)

Think of this leap to a new life stage as kayaking a life threatening Class V whitewater rapid that you didn’t bother to scout. Those rapids – “Beast of the East” “Inferno” “Terminator” – are named for a reason.

Shaping a future in all of your other decades was an inventive endeavor that involved dreams, priorities, trade-offs, risks, choices and challenges.

Unfortunately in your 50s this original approach to life design is stymied by a looming social construct. Retirement was once considered the golden twilight of an American life cycle – kind and comfortable.

But traditional retirement no longer works in reality. It hasn’t worked for a long time and  we just haven’t gotten around to creating a new version to take its place. No wonder the shift from traditional retirement to a new paradigm is not well underway.

We are older and healthier for longer, but not smarter it seems. (more…)

Posted in Reconstuct Retirement, Self-Management | 4 Comments