A Coach for Your Retirement

Thinking about retirement?  Retirement - whether forced or voluntary - is stressful, especially in the current economy. Dr Bruce Hensel introduced us to a special type of coach that can help kick off your game plan.

When Shanna Strickland decided to retire after 36 years with the University of Maryland, she was filled with mixed emotions: "The first thing i'm gonna' do is turn the alarm clock off." 

"It was exciting, but i was still apprehensive and nervous about, you know, life after retirement, leaving my coworkers, you know, leaving what i knew," Strickland added.

So after the 57-year-old talked it through with her husband, she asked the school's "retirement coach" for advice in planning the next stage of her life.

Retirement coach Mary DiGiacinto has some advice: "Most folks have thought about they're gonna' enjoy it, but they haven't thought about how am I going to look at myself and how am I gonna' define myself once I'm not working anymore?"

Do you want to fill your day with volunteer work? Cultivate a hobby? Travel, babysit the grandkids or start a second career?

"You know one or two years is one thing, but if you think about retirement being a 15 to 25 year segment of your life, then you would think about approaching it in a different way," DiGiacinto said.

Mary recommends you identify your strengths and how you want to use them. And pay attention to your health.  "Maintaining our physical well-being to the max that we can is critical to getting the max out of life, period," she said.

Shanna says the pep talks from her coach helped direct her through unfamiliar territory.

"Change is good. And I'm excited about it," Strickland said.

"Many companies offer free services with a certified retirement coach or they offer free employee assistance programs. Check with your company's human resources department for details," Dr. Hensel said.

Fast facts:
About 37.9 million americans are 65 or older.
35 percent of people taking early retirement do so for health reasons.
Many americans can expect to live one-third or more of their lives post-retirement.
People who are considering retirement need to consider functional and social transitions as well.
For more details, refer to our comprehensive research summary.

Audience inquiry:
If you are retiring or considering retirement, check to see if your company offers retirement planning services. For general information and tips:
Aarp, http://www.Aarp.Org
Administration on aging, http://www.Aoa.Gov
Social security administration, http://www.Ssa.Gov
Us department of labor, http://www.Dol.Gov/ebsa/publications/nearretirement.Html

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