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Dealing with uncertainty

Spring is here along with vaccines, and we are starting to lower our masks and re-enter the world. But even with these reasons for hope, we will be facing heightened uncertainty for the foreseeable future. The future is always uncertain, of course, but even the limited stability we knew 14 months ago has been upset and is likely to remain unsteady as we try to build a new meaning for “normal.” Most of us have learned to cope with this uncertainty over the past year; some did better than others. What people may not realize is that older people have been the best at coping.

Studies conducted before and during the pandemic have consistently found that older age (age 50 and up) is associated with better emotional well-being. In discussing these findings, Dr. Laura Carstensen, director of the Stanford Center on Longevity, has noted that “despite ‘grave risks to physical health, uncertainties about contagion and restricted social contacts,’ older adults had less frequent and less intense periods of anxiety, anger, stress, boredom and other negative emotions than younger people.” As we get older, we understand and manage our emotions better, even in times of prolonged stress. We have been through other periods of stress and endured life’s tribulations, and we know that we will eventually come out of this pandemic and move on. We understand that things will be different, and not only that we will find ways to…

Updates: Designing Your Retirement and Celebrating Mentoring Month

Designing Your Retirement

Daydreaming about the future

People usually think of daydreaming as a waste of time, a lazy interlude between periods of “productive” work. This is especially true of professionals who revere rational thinking above all else. But taking a break from work and letting your mind wander freely for a while can benefit your well-being and re-energize your brain. Daydreaming can enhance your creativity, keep you moving forward, build your resilience, and give you hope as you face life’s challenges. Visualizing a desirable future can be valuable at any time, but it is especially worthwhile at the point in your career when you start to think about winding down your practice and wonder what might come next. Daydreaming can help you figure that out.

Most daydreaming is unintentional, as when you find yourself doodling without being aware of it. But it can also be deliberate, as when you close your eyes and try to envision various scenarios for your life after practice. Those scenarios might be realistic or wishful, practical or fanciful; it doesn’t matter. Giving in to your imagination enables you to conjure up new and often dazzling insights, ideas and possibilities.

One place to start expanding your imagination and envisioning future possibilities is my book, Retirement by Design. Named by the Wall Street Journal as one of the best retirement books of 2020, it is a workbook filled with guidance, exercises and tools to help you…

Retirement by Design Named One of the Best Retirement Books of 2020!

I have such exciting news to share with you! The Wall Street Journal selected my book, Retirement by Design, as one the six best books of 2020 on aging and retirement! As an author, I’m always happy to get a good review, but this was an unexpected and thrilling honor. And I’m deeply grateful that the WSJ, and my readers, are finding value in this book.

 

The reader feedback I receive shows that, after so many months of the pandemic, many people, young and old, are contemplating what retirement means, when it happens, and how it might look. The very concept of retirement is being revolutionized. There is a growing awareness that the traditional linear career trajectory of education, then work and family, then retirement, is being replaced by individualized life and career patterns that might take any shape or direction. People may seek education, work, family, travel, volunteering, adventure, and retirement (permanent or temporary) at any point and in any order during their increasingly long lives. Fortunately, while more senior professionals may have the most immediate interest in the book, its creative, design-focused approach is adaptable enough to accommodate any career and retirement scenario.

 

The holidays are coming up fast. Retirement by Design would be a great gift to yourself if you are starting to think about retiring, or for any friend, family member or colleague who is (or should be). Its workbook format makes it highly…