We have completed team member engagement surveys for several years at work and one of the questions asked is “Do you have a best friend at work?” If you give this question a high score, according to Gallup research, you will be much more engaged at work. This makes logical sense to me because if you have friends at work, the work will likely be more enjoyable, you will look forward to come to work and as a result you will be more engaged.
What happens then when you retire?
As a I contemplate my transition to retirement, I am realizing that I have several friends at work that I want to stay connected with. How that will play out, how much connection I will really have, is still a mystery to me at this point in the transition. I am starting to prepare for this as I have already connected with a few friends on social media. I have gathered some personal email addresses and phone numbers and I have actually said (and meant it) to several of my work friends that I really do want to stay in touch.
I would expect that I will also make some new connections through my volunteer work and other post-retirement activity. Social connections are important literally for survival. According to significant research that was done in the Netherlands several years ago titled “Longitudinal Aging Study”, those adults with high emotional support, i.e. friends, had a mortality rate in the 2.5 years of the study period about half of those with low emotional support.
It is important to me in this next stage of life to have continuity of several of my work friendships even as I am closing out one chapter and moving to the next. I also look forward to building new friendships as I journey forward into new activities and experiences and am already making some new connections that may qualify as “best friends at …”
A Boomer In Transition
I am finding out that there are an abundance of opportunities to fill my three buckets of time in this next stage. Several opportunities and ideas presented themselves to me just this past week. It was appropriate then, if not symbolic, that the view from my hotel room window on my business trip to St. Louis this week was the Arch.
If you read the history of the Arch, at least one of the reasons for it is as a representation of a “gateway” to opportunities. This weekend, I am certainly feeling like I am looking at a gateway to opportunities as I transition into what is called retirement. But how do I decide which opportunities to pursue? What opportunities are right for me? Where can I add value and live a life of meaning in this next chapter? Should I monetize some of my experience and talent in the intellectual nourishment bucket? How important is that to me? These are just some of the questions I have been wrestling with this past week.
So far, I am sticking to the approach I mentioned in the previous post of not saying “yes” to anything in the intellectual nourishment bucket. I have, however, said yes to one very short term opportunity at church in the volunteering bucket. I have been so busy at work over the past several years that I had fallen into the default mode of saying “no” to most of the volunteer opportunities that had come my way. I am reorienting my thinking to at least consider “yes” to more opportunities in what I believe will be a very significant volunteering bucket.
I am learning that a part of this journey is patience. Someone who is several years ahead of me on this journey gave me advice this week to “take a deep breath and wait.” I have been so used to moving fast, going from one task to the next, or going from one multi-task to the next, and not taking many deep breaths. This has been the nature of my job the past several years. The reality is that I am still really busy at work for the next three months! I have five more business trips scheduled in the next three months, including a multi-city international trip with speaking engagements at major industry conferences. So it is probably ok for me to not know exactly how I am going to spend my time each hour of each day starting on January 1st!
My goal this weekend is to do some yard work, take some deep breaths, try something new for me called “patience” and prayerfully consider the abundance of opportunities ahead of me.
A Boomer In Transition
In the investment world we often talk to investors about buckets. We simply ask the question “What is the money for?” and then mentally account for the money (investments) in different buckets based on the answer(s) to that question.
As I transition into retirement I have also been thinking in terms of buckets, but in a different way. The question I have been asking myself is “How do I want to use my time?” As I have prayed, sought counsel, and journaled this question, I am arriving at three major buckets of how I want to spend my time:
1) Intellectual Nourishment
3) Family Care
I alluded to this first bucket in a prior post where I talked about how it is important to me to stay intellectually engaged in the investment or business world. Right now I am in the early days of exploring opportunities within this bucket of time. I am thoughtfully and prayerfully considering opportunities , saying “yes” to nothing at this point and only saying “no” to full-time opportunities. If I wanted to spend my time “full-time” in this bucket, I would have stayed in my current position. At this point, I believe that I do not want this bucket to represent more than one-third of my time.
The volunteering bucket is a relatively new one for me, but also one I am very excited about. I have had little time or energy to do very much in this area over the last 30 years. Post-cancer, I have done just enough to know that I have some passions in this area and want to carve out some significant time to do more, to practice and live a life of giving back in meaningful ways.
The family care bucket is a very broad one. There are lot’s of mini-buckets within the larger bucket in this time category. Some of this is obvious, but I want to eat better, experiment with a wider variety of exercise and simply spend more time managing the home front. I want to spend more time with my parents. I want to spend more time with my immediate family and expanded family and invest more in those relationships.
It is important to me to be a good steward of my time and to live a life of meaning and being thoughtful about my three buckets of time is one of the steps on this journey.
Thanks for reading this with some of your time.
A Boomer in Transition
A beautiful day for a walk in the early morning!
This is our dog Carter and we took two spins around Lake Como this morning.
As I mentioned before, I have learned to love walking. I have found that I an figure out things while I am walking. I call this “WALK IT OUT TO WORK IT OUT.” This is also supported by research as a recent Stanford study has concluded that you are 60% more creative when you walk. My grandma Nellie also referred to this as “The Fresh Air Doctrine” and believed that fresh air and a dose of apple sauce a day would solve most any ailment. Not sure that was ever fully researched, but she was not short on opinions.
It is supposed to be 75 and sunny today so there will be more walks in my day. Just in case I have any brilliant idea while I am walking, I carry a pen and note card in my pocket to write stuff down. I would say about 50% of the time I do a walk, I end up writing at least one thought down. Try it, walking is good for the body and the soul.
Until the next walk . . .
A Boomer In Transition
My retirement was announced at work this week after months of discussion and preparation. I am retiring on December 31st of this year and the email gave some details on what I would likely pursue in this next stage of my life. In future posts I will get into more details on my post-retirement plans.
The announcement went out on Wednesday to 35,000 team members in our group and within seconds, my inbox blew up with all the congratulatory emails. It was very rewarding to get so much positive feedback and congratulations from literally hundreds of people I have worked with over the years. My tenure as CIO will be 11 years by the end of this year, which is a long time in this industry to be CIO (the average duration is 5 years) so I have had the opportunity to interact with a lot of great people over this time period.
Note to self: Next time I retire do not travel the next day to present at a client event. On Thursday I flew to Chicago and presented to a large group of clients and prospects. I was so emotionally drained from the week by the time I took the stage that a few minutes into my speech, I was referring to a slide that was nowhere on the screen and waxing on about that non-existant information. Eventually I noticed and got back on track, finished well and then practically crawled the four blocks back to my hotel.
Anyway, the cat is out of the bag, my retirement has been announced and this marks an important step on my journey to the next stage of my life.
Stay tuned for more updates . . .
A Boomer In Transition