“The Secret to Successful Retirement is to Retire TO Something Not FROM Something.”– Katana Abbott
With over 10,000 Baby Boomers retiring every day, the dream of having enough money saved up to support you through the second half of your life can be daunting. According to a study by the National Institute on Retirement Security, “The average working household has virtually no retirement savings. When all households are included— not just households with retirement accounts—the median retirement account balance is $3,000 and $12,000.”
Randall Hansen, Ph.D., states that, “For many, retirement will indeed no longer signal the end of working, but more so a career and lifestyle transition, where the retiree has multiple options — such as continuing to work (though perhaps at a different pace), returning to school for additional training or education, changing careers, venturing into entrepreneurship, becoming more involved in volunteer work, or simply enjoying leisure and travel possibilities — a mix of working, learning, relaxing, and trying new things.”
This is exactly what I did at age 48 when I sold my financial planning practice of 20 years to venture out to create a non-profit — Smart Women’s Empowerment — where I could teach financial literacy and entrepreneurship. I also run my financial planning business where I coach, write, and speak about retirement, caregiving, and legacy.
I remember when I first got this idea after reading a book by Ernie Zelinski called, Retire Happy Wild and Free. His concept was to retire as young as possible, to downsize one’s lifestyle, and then to retire to a life of leisure. Although this may sound appealing to many, as a financial advisor, I did not find it very realistic.
Instead, I thought, “What if you could follow your passion doing something you love in retirement, make a difference, and get paid, would it even be considered work anymore?” For most, the answer is no!
Let me give you an example of three women I have worked with who shared their reinvention stories on Smart Women Talk Radio:
- Retired marketing expert, Peggy Tabor, thought joining the Peace Corps at age 60 would allow her to experience adventure, make a huge difference, and allow her retirement portfolio to grow. When she returned to the U.S., she was so moved by her experience, that she told me her social security disbursement was now a “Millionaire Lifestyle.” As we were having lunch, she mentioned that after three years of having to get her water from a dirty river, she was still in awe of the beautiful salad with roasted salmon and fresh water with ice cubes that she was about to consume. When Peggy returned from her mission with the Peace Corps, she pulled money from her retirement to build a well for her village. Wow!
- Retired teacher and Andrea Doria Survivor, Pierette Simpson, took early retirement and went on to become an international author, speaker, screenwriter, and documentary filmmaker.
- Harvard-trained OBGYN, Dr. Susan Sklar, retired from her medical practice after healing herself through holistic and functional medicine to become an anti-aging physician, author, speaker, and retreat leader.
The key is to have a plan, to follow a process, and to have a mentor to take you through the steps of:
- identifying your passions, your vision, your values;
- understanding your unique abilities and challenges;
- and analyzing your finances so you can create wealth while living a life you love.
If you are ready to explore your Retirement Reinvention and would like to talk about your dreams and challenges, visit TalkwithKatana.com to schedule a complimentary 30-minute breakthrough coaching session with me. I’ll ask you to complete an online assessment so we both can have a very productive meeting!
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