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 both visualize myriad possibilities and turn them into the happy and purposeful future you desire.
Buy your copy of Retirement by Design through bookstores and online sellers everywhere. And buy them for your friends, relatives and colleagues! It’s a great way to raise the subject of “what will you do next” with someone you care about. Many people are buying copies for their spouses and working through the book together. Many firms are buying copies for all senior partners as part of firm “lifelong career” initiatives or to support partners and executives who have indicated they were contemplating or planning to retire. And many people in their 40s and 50s are using the book as they try to envision their careers over a very long lifetime.
Another resource that will be helpful to those trying to imagine or plan retirement is my recent article, “The Right Time to Retire: How do you know?” This article appears in the January/February 2021 issue of the ABA Senior Lawyers Division magazine, Experience. Eventually you will be able to find it online, but you can also read the article here.
Free conference and on-demand program
I will discuss “Planning for Retirement – Yes, it should be a plan,” during the week-long virtual Innovation and Legaltech Week 2021 Conference, February 8-12, 2021. This Australia-based global conference, which is entirely free and open to all, will offer a comprehensive look at how the legal industry is changing and how its continuous improvement can be sustained. Part of the conference will be live and part, including my session (in conversation with Terri Mottershead), will be recorded and available on demand beginning February 1. More information about the conference, a list of all the conference programs, and the registration page are available here.
How can I help you prepare for retirement?
My retirement-related services include:
- Coaching and mentoring individuals
- Small group coaching and facilitation
- Presentations on retirement topics
- Programs on how to prepare for and design your retirement
- Advising firms on effective and respectful retirement transition practices, and
- Training in how to lead conversations about succession, client transitions, and retirement
If I can help you or your firm in any of these areas, please contact me.
Celebrating National Mentoring Month
January is National Mentoring Month, and while the month is drawing to a close, there’s still plenty of time to thank and honor your mentors and the people who look to you for mentoring. Mentoring remains an essential part of work experience, especially at a time when people are working in isolation and suffering from the lack of direct, in person social connection. Nothing could be more meaningful right now than reaching out to your mentor or mentee to see how they are doing, to talk about career or personal concerns, to offer encouragement and a little optimism, and to let them know you care about them and appreciate the relationship you have.
On January 13, 2021, I had the privilege of speaking to several American Inns of Court in Pennsylvania and Colorado about “Modernizing Mentoring: Maintaining Relationships and Meeting Change with Virtual Opportunities.” Many law firms, bar associations and other professional organizations are acutely mindful of the need to strengthen mentoring efforts during this time, and I have been pleased to assist them through virtual programs and presentations.
If I can help your organization with your mentoring efforts, please get in touch with me.