Finding Life of Passion in Retirement Activities

inding Passion from Retirement ActivitiesIn elementary school, I had a friend who was great at drawing horses. They were beautiful, full of detail and shading so they looked like the real thing. My drawings consisted of rudimentary stick figures barely recognizable. Based on that information, I concluded I didn’t have any artistic talent and stopped taking classes or engaging in other art activities.

Unfortunately, when we are around ten years old we make many decisions about what we can and cannot do well. Many of those decisions stay with us for the rest of our lives. [Read more...]

How do You Know When to Retire?

When to retireI received the following email a couple of weeks ago and asked if I might share it with you as many face this question.


Dear Cathy,

I am Assistant Director of Career Services at a State University. I have been in this role for 12 years. Prior to that, I worked in HR. As I approach my 66th birthday this month, I consider the possibility of giving up this work and joining my husband in [Read more...]

Consider a Bridge Job as Part of the Retirement Transition

Bridge Job for Retirement transitionEmployers are experimenting with ways to retain valued older employees as they transition into retirement. Often referred to as gap or bridge job, these work situations are designed to help the employee put one toe in retirement, but still remain gainfully employed. Many colleges and universities offer phased retirement options. Professors are allowed to cut back to either part time during the year or only work for one semester or quarter. Sabbaticals are offered for long-term employees to take extended time off for special projects or personal time.


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Bucket List Revisited

When I first started my bucket list (based on the movie with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman), my dreams were pretty big, like going to Nepal. Recently, while in Mexico, I went whale watching in the Sea of Cortez. We became friendly with another couple on the boat and she exclaimed when we saw our first humpback whale breach out of the water, “I’ve fulfilled a dream on my bucket list-whale watching.”

I love whale watching, but never considered it that big of a deal, considering I had lived in California and had gone at least a half dozen times. Certainly, one person’s ‘bucket’ dream means little to someone else. [Read more...]

The Transition for Retired Couples

As I’ve observed friends and clients, the retirement transition can be difficult on couples. Whether long-term marriages or short, a retired couple faces a new way of being together. Problems that were in the marriage, but lay dormant often rear their ugly head needing to be addressed.

In addition to old unresolved issues coming to the surface, often retired couples encounter new challenges. One problem couples face is where to live after retiring. She wants to enjoy the hustle of a glamorous city in a foreign country; he wants to live on farm in this country. She wants to be closer to the grandkids; he wants to live in a retirement community with a great golf course. This can be a serious challenge for a couple to deal with. [Read more...]

In Retirement or Life, How Do You Deal With a Bad Week?

Finding Peace at the Lily PondNo one gets out of life without turmoil and turbulence. It’s just the nature of our experience. I’m a believer that how you respond to an experience shapes it more than the actual event. I’ve been known to get blindsided, smile, put the experience through philosophical perspective and proceed undaunted.

Then there are times like last week, where I’m hurled through one relationship misstep, past a opportunity gone awry, landing smack dab in a computer disaster. Without the time to pick myself up, dust myself off, I feel like I’m confronting another assault on my character, resilience and fortitude. [Read more...]

What Will You Miss About Work After Retiring?

What will you miss about work?There’s a saying in retirement circles that it’s more important to focus on what you’re retiring to instead of from. Many people feel burned out, stressed and overworked. Retirement is seen as a panacea, a remedy for what ails you, if you will. Unfortunately people in this situation often don’t have a plan for how retirement is going to change their lives. Many become quickly disillusioned by the new experience.

With all of that said, it is important to recognize what you’re going to give up when you stop working. No matter how difficult a job may be, most people miss some aspects of their working life. [Read more...]

The Guide to Retirement Activities Has Arrived

00_RetirementActivities_HorizontalLike most career counselors, I like to categorize work and activities.  We live in a world with so many options, how can people possibly explore them all.  Over the years, there have been numerous models created to assess personalities with corresponding careers or jobs.

In 2003, I created the VISTa Life/Career Cards based on the Holland model of personality and work. It’s a great tool that is used in major US universities and by  professionals around the world.  As a career counselor, I specialized in working with adults helping them find and express this purpose.  It was relatively easy for my to move into retirement life planning or retirement transition planning. [Read more...]

Retirement Activity Guide: Start a Business

retirement activities: start a businessDue to increased life expectancy, economic conditions and/or the desire to create something, the retirement transition is taking on a new face as baby boomers start new business. Where the entrepreneurial bug comes from need or dream, seniors are no longer merely resting on laurels, but leading the charge with new enterprises. [Read more...]

Do You Know Your Anchors for Retirement Happiness?

You’ve worked hard your entire life. You’ve raised a family. In spite of being told you part of a selfish, indulgent generation, you’ve tried to live a good life. Now you’re thinking about the retirement transition. It may be a couple of years off, or has already happened.

You’ve been told that it’s your time. NOW! If you’re like most people, you have the first few months planned. You probably have a trip or two scheduled. There are projects you’ve put on hold until you had more time.

After that, what are you going to do with the rest of your life? [Read more...]