If you are 50+, ask yourself these three crucial questions:

  • How do you really want to spend the second half of your life?
  • Is your goal to someday retire, or are you planning on working forever?
  • What if you could get paid to follow your passion and fulfill your life purpose — would it even be considered work anymore?

I’ve always said, “The key to a successful retirement is retiring TO something not FROM something.” According to a study by Age Wave and Merrill Lynch called, Leisure in Retirement:  Beyond the Bucket List, rather than viewing retirement as the finish line, nine out of ten (88%) retirees now describe it as an opportunity for new beginnings, and often an entirely new state of mind.”

I think this is fabulous, because as long as what you are doing allows you flexibility and gives you time to stay healthy, what could be better than doing something that you are passionate about while supplementing your savings, pensions, and Social Security?

Here are 4 tips to help you get started on your Third Act:

Tip #1: Working can give you a Big Bang for your Buck:

Thinking of working part-time to earn extra income in retirement? Earning even $10,000 per year during retirement can be the equivalent of having an additional $250,000 in your retirement savings because if you did have $250,000 in a retirement account, the most you would really want to pull from it anyway is about 4% annually or about $10,000 per year in income. This is called the 4% safe withdrawal amount, and financial advisors have been using this figure for over 3 decades.

Bumping those earnings up to an extra $20,000 during your 2nd and 3rd Act, could be like having $500,000 in the bank paying out 4% per year in additional income. The extra benefit would be finding work doing something that you really enjoy!

I love this idea because it’s very optimistic for those who have not saved enough, or those who may have lost money in the last stock market crash.

Keep in mind, however, that if you intend to take Social Security prior to reaching your full retirement age you may end up paying back 1 dollar for every 2 over the “earnings limit”, which in 2023 is $21,240. So be sure to
check with your accountant if you plan to work after claiming your benefits early.

A recent Gallup Poll found that about 80% of Americans plan to work during retirement, so the idea of exploring some sort of work could add meaning and purpose to your life as well.

Tip #2: Work may be good for your health!

For those who were looking forward to a retirement of full‐time leisure, according to studies cited in LiveScience.com, people who continue to work during retirement often experience better health than those who don’t work.

The study goes on to say, as long as the work remains low stress, retirees who work are less likely to suffer from major diseases such as cancer, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. In addition, they are also less likely to become depressed.

Tip #3: Retirement must incorporate three parts: Health, Wealth, and Happiness.

True prosperity includes all three. If any of these elements are missing, you could be in trouble. Let me explain. A few weeks ago, I was talking to a dear friend of mine who is also a financial advisor, and because like me, she too has been in the industry as a financial advisor for over 30 years, her clients are aging. During our conversation, she shared with me that she was really depressed because she had seen three different clients the day before, and two had broken down and cried during the meeting.

She went on to say that although they had “all this money”, they could no longer enjoy it because of their failing health.

Tip #4: At Midlife — self-care comes first.

My personal trainer says that you can improve your health and strength up until the time you are 70. After that, you can only maintain your level of health and strength. His suggestion is to start taking care of yourself now and become your best today. Then you can take your good health into your 90s.


So, looking into 2023, I want you to take out a piece of paper and begin to envision what you want your life to look like and focus on 3 categories:

Self-Care – Do this first – write out what you need to do beginning today to take care of your mind, body, and spirit, so you can enjoy vibrant health during the second half of your life.

Friends, Family and Fun – Now, write out what activities and people you want to focus on to bring more joy and fun into your life.  Do you know anyone on their death bed who said they wished they had worked more?  They wish they had spent more time with loved ones!

Money, Work and Legacy – Finally, begin to explore what you would like to be doing during the second half of your life. What can you do that is effortless, that brings you joy, and that makes you money?

The key is to begin working on all three areas now. This could mean learning something new. If you don’t know where to start, get some help. Find a mentor or join a community of like-minded people who have similar goals and interests.

Pick one area and get started. Put your goals in writing and look at them every day! Remember – thoughts are things, so focus on what you want — NOT what you don’t want. The life you lead truly is the legacy you leave, so start focusing on your health, your wealth, and your happiness today and watch as things begin to shift.

If you’d like to access our online classes visit the Smart Women’s Academy.   If you’d like to work 1:1 with a mentor who has been doing this stuff for 35 years, schedule a call with me at www.talkwithkatana.com.  

Katana Abbott

Katana Abbott, CFP®, is a Retirement Income Coach and Certified Social Security Claiming Specialist, founder of the Midlife Millionaire® Solution, and the host of Smart Women Talk. For over 35 years, Katana has helped baby boomers plan for retirement, including how to create lifetime income, how to optimize their Social Security benefits, launch an encore career and prepare 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 Businesswomen, receiving the Breakthrough Award. To download her new retirement guide, Three Smart Strategies to Maximize Your Retirement Income, visit www.katanaabbott.com