Few people do what I do, and most people have never heard of it. I explained #Retirement Coaching recently in this essay that appeared in a newsletter. A financial planner wanted his clients to understand the concept. Now, I want to share it with you.
Remember the old car company slogan, “This isn’t your father’s Oldsmobile?” It was clever and effective when GM was trying to change its image in 1988. That catchy phrase takes on more meaning today when we apply it to retirement. It can be startling to realize we won’t be living our father’s or grandfather’s retirement.
While we weren’t paying attention, retirement life transformed from a few years to a few decades. Instead of what we used to think of as a brief time relaxing in a recliner, a little golf, a few vacations and time with the grandkids, retirement now can last as long as our careers.
What will we do for two or three decades without a job? For some, moving into retirement happens seamlessly. For others it is a difficult transition. That’s where my company, Change Engine, comes in. As a Certified Retirement Coach, I sit down with people of all walks of life who are struggling with the changes that come before and during retirement. Sometimes they don’t understand what’s wrong. They know something is off, and they engage in coaching to find ways to steer themselves toward a more meaningful, fulfilling and robust life.
Unfortunately, most people don’t talk to family or friends about their challenges in retirement and often feel like they are alone in their struggles. They are not. It can be embarrassing or awkward to admit that life isn’t working as planned. Part of the reason is that we are told repeatedly that retirement will be blissful, without worry and full of fun. The truth can be quite different. What if we are afraid to retire? What if we don’t want a life of leisure? What will we do with our time? The worries are real.
Coaching is a safe, nonjudgmental place to explore those topics and many others through conversation, powerful questions, written exercises and by mining the trove of experiences and successes clients have stored inside. A fundamental underpinning of coaching is that inside of each of us lie the answers to our own questions and solutions to our challenges. Coaching is the art of illuminating the questions and challenges, creating an environment for discovery and supporting the process of redesigning part of life.
I’ve spent years learning how to ask the right questions, how to listen deeply and how to support people as they adopt new behaviors that will change their lives. It’s exciting work that I am doing in my own retirement. I love it and the satisfaction that comes with seeing clients make discoveries and achieve the “aha” moments. It doesn’t get better than that.
There you have it: Retirement Coaching. You are now among the few who have been exposed to this emerging field that literally can help people change their lives. Let me know if you want to change yours in the New Year.