A few years ago, I was on vacation with my husband and another couple that we have frequently traveled with over the last 30 years. I noticed the phrase, “I’m done!” kept coming up in conversation. I had already retired and reinvented my career 10 years earlier, but my husband and my friend, had both been working at the same place, doing the same work for over 30 years, and it was time for a change.  But what would that look like and where do you start?

By the time we reach midlife, most of us are at the top of our game and in our peak earning years. But for many, there is a calling or a pulling that cannot be stopped, and it creates a lot of fear and anxiety.  When that happens, it’s time to STOP and take a time out because the Universe may just be calling out to you, and if you ignore it, you may end up with a big wake-up call.  These wake-up calls can show up as health issues such as insomnia, a heart attack, or even cancer.  I’ve heard story after story of how a health scare was actually a blessing to get someone to stop, smell the roses, and get some more clarity in their life.

It’s the same with financial planning.  Most of us put it off until we are hit with a big triggering event and then it’s often too late.  So my message today is not to wait, but to take action NOW.

My wake-up call came when I was 45. My story was even featured in Reinventing Midlife Magazine, and begins on page 23.    I’m grateful for my wake-up call.  During my six week sabbatical from work, I took action by going to a conference on coaching when no one really even really knew what coaching was.  It was there that I hired my first coach who helped me design my exit strategy and see how I was in the perfect situation to begin my Retirement Reinvention.  At 47, I sold my business to my partner of 15 years and launched Smart Women’s Coaching.  It’s been a long journey, but today, I offer retirement coaching, speak, write, and lead transformational retreats in places like Costa Rica and Panama.  And this May, I’m leading my first retreat to Portugal!  In addition, I lead the nonprofit, Smart Women’s Empowerment, with an online school, blog, and radio show.  None of this has been easy, but it’s been so rewarding.  Today I’m 61, and my work isn’t really work. It’s something I will be able … and want to do for the next 10 years or so.

So if you are feeling the calling and want to explore your own retirement reinvention, a great place to start is by enrolling in our Smart Women’s Academy and taking my free course, Unlock Your Financial Power.  This six-step system is exactly what I use with my private clients.  I have made it available for free to our Smart Women Community because my dream is to have thousands of women around the world transforming their lives and paying it forward by helping others do the same!

Once you finish the Unlock Your Financial Power Course, you will want to begin your financial planning to take a look at your finances to see where you stand and to develop a step-by-step plan to get you there.  The good news is that you won’t need to do this alone.  You will be invited to my live group coaching call and our private Facebook group so you can share your successes, ask questions, find a buddy coach, and to stay inspired.

Be sure to listen to our next show, The New Retirement Solution, where I will share the steps you need to take to get clear about when and how to retire as we REimagine Retirement.  If you want to explore your Retirement Reinvention with me personally, visit my online calendar for a 30 minute complimentary consultation at www.talkwithkatana.com.

Katana Abbott, CFP®, is a Retirement Coach, founder of the Smart Women Companies, and the host Smart Women Talk Radio with over a million subscribers.  For over 30 years, Katana has shown women how to take charge of their life and finances and believes it’s never too early to plan for expected and unexpected events like retirement, encore careers, moving abroad, or preparing for long-term care.  She has written several books, created a financial literacy course, and is a popular speaker. Katana has been honored by NAWBO as one of Detroit’s Top 10 Business Women, receiving the Breakthrough Award. To download her new ebook, The Five Biggest Money Mistakes Women Make and How to Fix Them, visit www.katanaabbott.com