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3 Ways to Plan Now for a More Rewarding Retirement

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mar31homespunweb.jpgBy Marshall Loeb

RISMEDIA, March 31, 2008-(MCT)-When you quit working, every day becomes a vacation day. How will you find fulfillment then?

In their book “Don’t Retire, Rewire!” Rick Miners and Jeri Sedlar, professional transition coaches, offer three ideas on how to prepare for all the free time that opens up when you leave work behind.

Seek alternatives. One way to start planning for that moment, Miners and Sedlar say, is to assess the extent to which your business and pleasure activities overlap. One of the first things people realize when they retire is how much their leisure was blended with work. Business entertaining and travel often meet people’s needs for fun and recreation, as do company picnics and other company functions. You’ll have to find ways to replace business-sponsored leisure when you retire.

Identify your passions. Another way to think about how you’re going to use your obligation-free days when you quit working is to analyze your leisure activities now.

Use a two-week timeframe to take a holistic view of your life, including things that don’t come up often in your schedule and that might become the basis of something you’d like to expand on in your rewired life. Analyzing your work and personal routine also can remind you how to get the most out of it, so you can use whatever free time you have to develop interests to expand on when you retire. Even though you have a scarcity of free time in your working years, it’s much easier to take at least one activity that’s already in your life and expand upon it at retirement than it is to start something brand new later on.

Start planning now. A third way to make sure you feel fulfilled during your golden years is to start planning now for all the free time that awaits you. Miners and Sedlar suggest starting to plan at least five years before you quit working full-time. Use your work connections; like it or not, your employer provides you with ready connections you can leverage and use to springboard into opportunities for rewired leisure activities. In some cases professional and business associations may not want you if you’re not working for a company, but they’ll often keep you on after you quit if they already know you. So take advantage of well-established business and professional connections while you’re still employed and join any clubs, social groups, or associations ahead of time.

© 2008, MarketWatch.com Inc.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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