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Retirement: A time to create your own future

What pops up in your mind when you hear the word “retirement”? We asked the audience at last week’s book launch for Retirement by Design, which was graciously hosted in San Francisco by the fantastic global design firm IDEO. The words that came up ranged from “excitement” and “eagerness” to “dying.” This last word is no surprise. The idea of retirement is loaded with negative imagery that suggest withdrawal, obsolescence and yes, mortality. In fact, the Cambridge English Dictionary defines retirement as “the act of leaving your job and stopping working, usually because you are old.” But what if we turn that thinking around? What if we concentrate on our ability to live longer, healthier lives, and to remain active and vital but in a different way? What if we re-define retirement as a time to create and live a desirable future of our own design?

That’s the philosophy behind my new book, Retirement by Design. It’s a workbook that will help you create the best possible post-career life by deciding what you want that life to look like and then turning that vision into reality. Rather than offering advice on what you should do when you retire, it applies design principles that ask you to determine what would be best for you; after all, what will make you happy in retirement is personal to you. Some people want to relax and enjoy themselves without any outside…

A Great Start to 2020

What a great start to 2020!

I could not be happier. Earlier this month, I held my first grandchild, a perfect little boy who is a source of enormous joy to his parents and grandparents. And while not quite as thrilling or monumental, my new book, Retirement by Design, will be published next week. As you might imagine, these events have me thinking about the future and what it means for me now that I’m a grandmother. It’s an additional factor I’ll have to consider when making my retirement plans. Fortunately, my book covers the impact of retirement on people’s relationships with their children and grandchildren. Its questions and exercises will help me plan for and fulfill my new role, now and in the future.

Retirement by Design recognizes that retirement affects all of your relationships with family and friends. Retirement changes your life in many significant ways, including your personal, professional and social ties. People often underestimate the impact it has, not just on themselves, but also on others, especially their husband or wife. To enjoy retirement fully, it’s important to consider, discuss and prepare for those changes so that your relationship with your spouse remains harmonious, your time with children and grandchildren is satisfying and well-spent, your responsibilities toward parents and other family members are taken care of, and your friendships and social connections continue to flourish and grow. The advice, questions and exercises in this guided…

Retirement by Design is now available for preorder!

As we enter a new year and a new decade, I want to thank all of you, my subscribers, for the interest, ideas, feedback and support you have given me over the years. We have worked and talked together extensively about mentoring, sponsorship and other aspects of talent development, but a while ago, many of you began to express growing concerns about “next acts,” either your own or those of others in your firms. In response to those concerns, I added a new dimension to my practice that deals with defining, preparing for and transitioning into retirement. And now I’m excited to announce the publication of a new resource, a self-guided workbook, Retirement by Design.

Whenever you start to contemplate what you might do when you leave your current practice, this new book will help you decide what a great future might look like and then act to make it happen. It uses design thinking principles to make retirement planning a creative process that leads to a future you will move toward with enthusiasm, not anxiety.

You can read about and preorder copies of Retirement by Design here or through a link on my website. If you have any questions about it, or have any thoughts to share with me, I would love to hear from you!