“Finding yourself” was something most baby boomers did in the 1960s or ’70s. By the time we reach the age of 60 (or 70), we assume the question, “Who am I?” will have been answered.
But, the question will likely come up again in the first few months of retirement. With no plan in place for those first 100 days or so, the question often becomes: “Who am I without my work?” And, the worst answer of all is no answer.
It’s the American way to define ourselves by what we do, but that’s the wonderful opportunity of retirement – to find out who we are with no restrictions on our time. (This piece in the Encore section of the Wall Street Journal offers some great examples.) Still, most people find peace of mind in having a plan… a roadmap for the journey into the great unknown. That’s why Self-Identity is one of the five key categories of retirement success addressed in the Fit-to-Retire Playbook.
Even if your golden retirement date is a few years away, thinking about “finding yourself” in retirement is a great exercise to do a few years early. As Bob Knight, professor of psychology and gerontology at the University of Southern California, suggests:
“Check in during your working life and look at how big a chunk of life work is and think about how much of ‘myself’ is based on work—and try to diversify that. Our culture puts a lot of emphasis on work, but there is a lot more to life than just working.”
Get started finding out who you will be in retirement. Take our free Readiness Assessment today.