By Devra Korwin, Certified Transition and Retirement Coach
Getting Ready for Your 3rd Act
Emphasis in retirement is generally placed on years of financial planning, which is critically important, but doesn’t address the potential emotional, psychological, intellectual and physical adjustments inherent in what I like to call "Act 3." Serious attention to these non-financial aspects is important for those who are considering retirement, wanting to revitalize their current retirement and/or are a partner in a retirement relationship. With the “New Retirement”, people need to make informed choices and use advanced planning beyond the financial. One is not retiring from something but to something. Continuous fine tuning may be necessary if your original plans don’t fulfill your expectations. Even the best plans can lose their luster so it’s imperative to prepare for Act 3—what you hope and plan to do—and potentially for Act 4!
Act 3 Facts
- 10,000+ individuals are retiring daily with increased life expectancy of 30+ years.
- Retirement can last longer than your primary career.
- 82% of Americans expect to be working past age 65—or do not plan to retire.
- 42% envision a phased retirement from full-time to part-time.
- 47% expect to rely on Social Security.
- 52% plan to work for income or health benefits
Coping with Transition and Change
Transition and change are different things. Retirement is a change. The transition is the psychological process people experience as they adjust to the new situation. For some people, change is exciting and energizing, and they move through the transition easily. For others change is challenging, and the transition period can be ambiguous and chaotic before moving on to a new beginning. Some of the main benefits of work are a sense of purpose, status, financial compensation, time management and socialization. If any of these are important to you, and there isn’t a plan to replace them, then the transition to retirement will be more difficult.
Retiring to your 3rd At might be voluntary and happily anticipated. However, if you’re not well prepared for Act 3, the experience can shift from joyful, positive expectations to frustration, boredom, procrastination, depression, fatigue and low self-esteem. The “New Retirement” should not be an ending but a new beginning; an opportunity to create a meaningful, successful, exciting and rewarding existence and the start of a new life journey of expanded proportions.
My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style.
— Maya Angelou