The world is a challenging and exciting place. Those of us now 50+ are in the last part of our formal work life if we look at our lives through the history lens and compare it to our parents and grandparents. For many in this age group, you may already have a very different journey on this path. We are living longer, technology is changing our world every day and most of us have not saved enough to contemplate this next season without some sense of fear in our hearts.
Why is it so different? Firstly the generation now in this season are called the baby boomers. We were born after world war two and are a very large generation compared to previous generations. That means there are a lot of us heading in the same direction. We think and act differently. Our parents were called the ‘silent generation” and did not voice much. We are a generation that has not saved enough, have more than one credit card in our wallet and too much debt. We are a ‘can do’ generation and like to fix and be problem solvers.
Secondly the introduction of the internet during our working life has changed the world for all of us. We are the first generation heading into retirement with more power in our pockets than the rocket that put man on the moon in 1969. That has an impact on where we live, how we work and what we need to do to plan. It opens up many opportunities, but one needs to understand these changes and plan ahead.
Thirdly we have no financial security net in South Africa that will sustain us in our later years. The best insurance policy for your future is to continue working or design a second career for yourself and not draw down on your investments too early. You may live in this season for 25 years and most of us did not plan for this longevity. Finding work in this season is about knowing what you are good at, learning new skills and finding or designing a new space for yourself. The good news is that it does not need to be 8 hours per day and 3 weeks leave per year but can be cycles of work and play. You also have opportunities with technology to work both locally and globally.
How do you prepare for this? Read and understand the changes happening in the world. On the Refirement Network website there are more than 100 articles that can help you. You can work with a coach to help you plan your journey and plot the steps needed for success. Start to spend time actively working on your plan. It can take up to five years to unlock success so don’t wait until you are retired to start this process. The ideal is within five years of retirement.
“Over the last two decades, the world has changed substantially. The economic, political, social, corporate and personal rules that now apply bear scant relation to those applicable two decades ago. Different times require a different script.” The Next Global Stage by Kenichi Ohmae
Here are some questions to ask to start you on your journey:
- Do you want to continue in your existing
line of work or do something new?
- Do you want to pursue a specific dream or passion?
- Do you want to stay close to family or travel the world?
- How much time and involvement do you want to commit to work in the next season of life?
- How much money do you need to earn?