Success factors for Retirement- Directedness

In this series we will discuss some factors that may affect you when you reach formal retirement age. The Baby Boomer Generation (born between 1946 and 1964) are not likely to retire like their parents did. The world has changed and there are now different choices available for this generation as they reach this new life stage.

The third factor is called Directedness. This is defined as follows: The degree to which we rely on our own internal sense of personal guidance for making plans and decisions for our retirement life, rather than relying on others giving us direction from outside ourselves.

In the old retirement paradigm it was generally our employer who usually directed how and when we would retire through its retirement policies. For most of us this has thankfully changed and the responsibility is now in the hands of the individual. This analysis should also include a section on discovering who you are, internally.

Self-direction means that we dig deeply into ourselves discerning there our most crucial issues, most cherished goals and most revered relationships. Once these are clearly known, then we can make active, conscious attempts to pursue these vital interests with gusto. Self-direction demands that we come to know ourselves deeply, that we are courageous in looking at ourselves objectively, asking ourselves some hard questions about what’s important to us, and then finding the motivation to just “do it”.

In some ways this is like writing your own story for the future. Similar to the way a company would follow this process for an organization we should be asking the same questions for our own journey. We need to have the courage of our convictions and live our own story, not borrow from someone else’s story. It is this directedness that will be the energy needed to move forward and fulfill the chapters of our life.

For most of us the routine and structure of work life influence how we have been directed thus far. It is critical to have a clear picture of what we want in the future so that we are not disabled with a void that we did not anticipate. In retirement we don’t lose the ability to make decisions like we did before, we simply lose the opportunities that we once enjoyed to put our indelible fingerprints on our work. Retirement can offer even more opportunities for decision making, creativity, new paths for personal fulfillment and more bridges to happiness than our work ever did.

Your retirement needs to be as unique as your fingerprint, a one-of-a-kind masterpiece, an unduplicated work of art with yourself as the artist.

We have a tool called the RSP that measures 15 success factors for retirement. This test gives quantitative measures for each factor. This tool is available through the Refirement Network. This is your life – live each day to the full until your last.

Most of the content for this article is taken from the book ‚ÄúThe New Retirement‚Äù ‚Äì Discovering your dream by Richard P Johnson… This is the handbook for the RSP tool used by Retirement Options. Lynda Smith is the only accredited coach with Retirement Options in South Africa.