In the 21st century, with another 20 to 40 years to live and given both a functioning brain and reasonably able body, I don’t see leaving fulltime employment as entering retirement.
I see the transition from fulltime work as entering what some have referred to as Second Adulthood or Third Age. I refer to it as the “next age” or “next stage” of life. I use the word “stage” deliberately. We all play different roles throughout our lives.
One of my aims is to inspire you to consider what roles you would like to play in the coming years. The options are many and may be short, medium or long term in nature. The choice is yours.
Today’s workforce leavers are exiting employment earlier and remaining healthy for longer. Many will be retired for almost as many years as they worked and their lifestyles will reflect a level of activity beyond yesterday’s stereotype.
Today’s active Next-Ager has options:
- Learn something new.
- Start a small business or begin consulting in an area of expertise.
- Undertake an ambitious physical fitness program.
- Work part time in a chosen industry.
- Develop an investment portfolio and play an active role in its development.
- Focus on more traditional areas of leisure – travel, sport and family.
Select activities and goals that are right for you. Formulate and carry out an action plan incorporating the ideal mix of activities to meet the goals you’ve set.
You may do part-time, casual or volunteer work; become a consultant in your chosen area of expertise; or embrace a different lifestyle, taking up new hobbies and interests, perhaps even in a different location.
You will have the opportunity to work on your health, relationships and even spiritual development.
There are no right or wrong answers. Most people have a clear idea of where they are situated financially, but planning for other areas of life is lacking, has been avoided or is non-existent.
These are the seven wealth areas to consider beyond the money. Each can be explored to unlock a world of riches once you leave fulltime employment.
- Your self. By clearly identifying what is important to you – your values, what skills motivate you, and what you want to learn, use or share, you can create a practical blueprint for the next stage.
- Your wellbeing. Health is wealth, even more so in the next stage of life. And I’m not just talking about physical health, but mental and emotional health and overall wellbeing.
- Your location. Location, location, location, as they say in the real estate game. It’s an important consideration and an essential wealth in the next stage. Where are you going to live? Why? Have you done due diligence?
- Your relationships. This is arguably one of the most important wealth areas beyond money. What are your expectations of family members, friends and social networks? The wealth inherent in your “positive” relationships is the real key to long-term enjoyment of the next stage.
- Your lifestyle. What lifestyle do you want – hobbies, interests, continuing self-development, amusements, sports, volunteer work, and even further paid work. Your lifestyle is your ongoing day-to-day and year-to-year wealth.
- Your legacy. What legacy do you wish to leave? What contribution do you wish to make? This wealth area is about making your contribution your way – a way that makes a difference.
- Your spiritual development. This is about exploring your perspective on the world around you, seeing how that shapes what you focus on and what you can achieve. Keep your mind open and your definition broad
Steve Mendl is founder of the Next-Aging programs, and author of bestseller Beyond The Money.