I am writing a book for professional and executive women called “Successful Women in the Age of Mastery: Creating the Best for the Rest of Your Life … and for Generations to Come.”
They are in mid-to-late career, pondering the transition into retirement and seek to create a new, more holistic life design when a certain amount of financial security gives them the option of stepping out of a long-standing career. "Age of Mastery" is the term I use to describe them because rather than 'seniors,' or 'elderly,' or 'aging,'t more often they are vibrant and healthy and have 20, 30 or 40 years of active life and adventures ahead, with a great deal to contribute.
In working with them, one of the biggest things we explore are options for retirement, semi-retirement, possibly self-employment or entrepreneurship to replace the attributes that a professional career provided. Depending on their financial capacity, we might also explore involvements in social enterprise – either participating in some capacity with existing nonprofit businesses or utilizing their own business or personal resources and estate planning to make an impact in the charitable and philanthropic world. These may all have varying degrees of personal involvement, time and energy, as well as financial investments and concerns about intergenerational impacts. These are the individual aspects of building and living a legacy, as opposed to a plan to identify recipients of a financial portfolio and how to administer it after leaving the life path.
It seems the terms retirement and legacy have been cornered by the legal and financial services industries as if money is the only issue at stake. Certainly money is important – well worth working with a reputable and ethical adviser to address in terms of both financial and estate planning, especially when transitioning from work activities that generate earned income to living from investments, pensions or other funds.
Beyond questions like “where will my money come from?” and “will I have enough?” there are many more personal considerations like, “where will I find meaning and purpose, how can I continue to make a contribution with the skills I most enjoy using in areas that interest me most, and where and how will I live since I’m no longer tied to a particular location?”
There are other important questions, too, such as “who will I spend time with, what kinds of involvements will allow me to find like-minded friends, and who will care for me if something happens?” For women, these are especially important because they are more likely to become single in this phase of life at some point.
Each of these questions has many different answers depending on a person’s interests, skills, extended family, and level of social or community involvements or other interests developed outside of working – not just on their net worth. Many are addressed by professional endeavors and the workplaces in which they occur; so they seem like a given, but much of that will change when entering retirement. Those questions need to be answered to reach true fulfillment. In many ways, they are the things that money can’t buy.
Retirement isn’t an on/off switch – one day you’re one thing and the next another. It is a transition, a change in mindset and identity as well as in physical/health status, interests and involvements that occur over time. And it’s not a spreadsheet – it’s much more than budgets, covering expenses and what are the sources from which the money to address them will come.
RE: Select Your Industry - mine isn't represented in the list.
My industry is life design and legacy coaching/consulting. My audience will be women who come from medicine, law, financial services, engineering and the corporate world.