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  • leoneevans

There comes a time when you decide you don’t want to work for someone else anymore, or if you own your own business you want to step back and let someone else deal with the daily business activities. You realise that you’re ready to retire, or you want to embark on a significant lifestyle change… But what does this mean for you specifically and how do you go about it?

Retirement or a significant lifestyle changes can come at any age in your life. You may not want to call it retirement – as you don’t really want to spend your time explaining to people that you have retired, but you’re still ‘working’. Retirement for me was when I made a lifestyle choice to leave ‘corporate 9-to-5’; and replace it with doing what I want, when I want and for whom I want. I also wanted to change my focus to incorporate more time for leisure, start my own business, improve my health, and undertake some voluntary activities in my community. I also get to say ‘no thank you’ if there is any aspect of an activity that doesn’t sit well with me… I am able to speak my truth more often as I no longer have to toe the company line. One of the biggest changes I have noticed (besides eliminating stress…) is that I am finally able to be true to myself…

Retirement means different things to different people. For some it means stopping all paid work altogether, and embarking on a life of leisure activities. For others it is a chance to start a new hobby, start a new business, travel, get fit, start (or finish…) some study, to volunteer – or all of the above! There are no rules – your retirement is as individual as you are…

For those of you who have their own business, what thought have you given to creating a legacy? Before you can manage yourself out of the business, through retirement, sale or devolvement to family or other staff members; there is a need for good succession planning, which may include a formal business exit plan. A forced retirement through sudden ill-health could mean the sudden shut-down of an otherwise healthy business. In this situation the full financial potential of the business is very often unable to be realised, which can put more financial burden on an already difficult situation. Succession planning or developing a business exit plan often requires assistance from a specialist in this area.

Sometimes retirement or a major lifestyle change, can be thrust upon us, through a sudden change in a relationship or health situation, or perhaps even through redundancy. Regardless of the cause you now have an opportunity to reinvent yourself and to choose your next step – and whether it is in paid employment or not…

Often one of the biggest considerations for contemplating a major change to your lifestyle – is how to fund the new lifestyle. For some, full retirement may not actually be possible due to your financial situation – but that doesn’t mean you can’t think about how to make your work-life more fulfilling and start planning now so that when you are able to retire, you have a plan in place so you can enjoy letting go, or reducing, some of your paid work commitments.

Changing from full-time to part-time is a step towards a new lifestyle. With more leisure time, come options and new opportunities about how to spend that time. Undertaking meaningful activities doesn’t have to cost money… Volunteering for example, may use many existing skills, but it could also teach you new skills! By providing your time and experience you are helping your community to prosper as well.

Retirement is not about retiring from life – quite the opposite! Now you have the opportunity to engage in a number of diverse activities; all of which help you feel more engaged and connected to life. For me, retirement means it is now easier to maintain balance in my life. The first thing to go into my diary are my health and wellness activities. Around them I put my volunteering and paid work activities. I block out whole days which become space to allow serendipity to arise, or so I can be spontaneous and do something completely different – or nothing at all… The key aspect for me is: I now get to choose. I now have freedom. This is my retirement!

If you want some help planning a significant lifestyle change; or developing a formal succession plan or a business exit strategy for your business, then give me a call!


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