You’ve waited for retirement for years. The last months of work were excruciating as your patience wore thin and your interest dwindled. You couldn’t wait to escape the rat race and yet, 8 months of leisure and you’re back in the game.
Transitioning is difficult
If you didn’t have a good enough plan then starting from zero is difficult. As much as you may think so now, non-stop golf, lunches, grandkids or catching up on reading will not make you feel fulfilled. It’s kind of like a kid’s dinner of candy – great for the first few minutes but after that you need something nourishing.
I predict that recently retired boomers will be back to work in 8 months if they don’t find enough meaningful activities to fill their days.
The draw of something familiar, something that reaffirms your value is strong. Add money and the draw will be irresistible, especially if you feel it is on your terms. But is that really what you want to do with all your productive days?
A meaningful retirement takes work
You need to figure out what you want to do – what you value. Then you need to reinvent or as I say “realign” yourself. It will probably be a portfolio style life where you focus your energy on a few different areas.
One will be friends and family, one will be leisure and probably travel, one may be work and one may be contributing to your community in some way. Then you have to plan activities in each of these areas to keep the engagement going. Retirement is work – just a different kind. You get out of it what you put into it.
Volunteering is not easy
It’s easier to get a job than give your time away for free. Unfortunately non profits and community groups are not prepared for the mass numbers of Boomers ready to give back. The models for volunteerism are old and are resistant to change.
So at this point your biggest challenge may be in breaking through and finding or defining volunteer roles that leverage your assets and fit the organization.
Be prepared to be a part of building these new models – that may be where some of the most meaning volunteerism will be.