Five Barriers Between You and Your Life’s Next Chapter

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, it’s been impossible to avoid the media stories about the massive wave of baby boomers heading towards retirement. But underlying these stories are some striking facts that signal a major change in leadership in enterprises and institutions throughout the country. The median age for an S&P 500 CEO is 55. Three-fifths of senior federal executives are, or shortly will be, eligible for retirement. And, it’s estimated that two-thirds of our nation’s nonprofit leaders are age 60 or older.

As these leaders head towards the traditional retirement threshold, the situations and opportunities they face are dramatically different than those faced by any previous generation. For a host of reasons, traditional retirement is not the choice of many Boomers, nonprofit leaders included. Here are a few of those reasons:

Continue Reading »

6 Signs That It’s Time to Move On

Deciding when to move on – that it’s time to retire, shift into an encore career, or otherwise leave your leadership role – and head toward life’s next chapter may be the most challenging decision of your career. Some leaders make this decision easily and move forward gracefully. Others delay, postpone, and defer until circumstances take over. They hang on too long until the “it’s time to leave” signals become so blindingly obvious that they can no longer be avoided. Still other executives never seem to get the message and have to be subtly, or sometimes not so subtly, forced out of their positions. This article covers six classic signs that it might be time to prepare your exit plan.

Leading well includes leaving well, and that means taking charge of your exit and leaving on a high note. Choosing how to exit your role may be the ultimate act of leadership. The first step is determining when it’s time to move on.

Continue Reading »

7 Factors that Predict Healthy Aging

(and 6 Factors that Don’t)

We are bombarded by contradictory information about what it means to grow old, is how psychiatrist and Harvard Medical School professor George Vaillant begins Aging Well, his landmark book (Vaillant 2002). He goes on to give us the facts, drawing from three separate longevity studies that tracked the lives of 824 individuals for more than 50 years, beginning in their teens. (The subjects included male Harvard graduates from the 1940s, a group of women from diverse backgrounds who were identified as “gifted” as children, and a group of inner-city male dropouts.)

Continue Reading »

Review – Live Smart

Live Smart After 50!, by Natalie Eldridge

Two heads are better than one. So how about 33? Live Smart After 50! compiles advice from 33 retirement advice experts from the Life Planning Network. Live Smart After 50! offers a holistic perspective for retirement planning, covering a wide spectrum of issues central to your life during retirement.

Live Smart After 50! doesn’t shy away from topics that might make the reader uncomfortable. The section entitled, “Sex: Are Older People Doing It?” dispels some commonly-held myths about sexuality among older adults.  In the “Your Wishes Matter” section, the author covers “things you would rather not think about,” with some common-sense advice for estate-planning, and items so obvious you might have missed them. Do you know who the beneficiaries are for your IRA? Have you reviewed that information in the past 10 years? The author of this section points out that a will alone is no longer considered sufficient estate-planning.

Continue Reading »

Review – Second Acts

Second Acts: Creating the Life You Really Want, Building the Career You Truly Desire, by Stephen M. Pollan

In Second Acts, life coach Stephen Pollan counsels his readers through the complicated process of beginning a new career. Pollan directs the reader to get a notebook and begin writing down the practical and emotional obstacles they need to overcome in pursuit of their goals. Second Acts makes a convincing case for planning instead of wishing. The author suggests that the reader may balk at the idea of “taking what should be a romantic adventure and turning it into a prosaic project.” But if you follow his thorough guide for planning your second act, you’ll have an invaluable resource for keeping yourself on task.

Continue Reading »

Review – Encore Handbook

The Encore Career Handbook: How to Make a Living and a Difference in the Second Half of Life, by Marci Alboher

You don’t have to feel alone as you plan your retirement. Author Marci Alboher wrote The Encore Handbook to encourage readers to make their personal journey a topic of conversation. If you look around, you’ll find many colleagues planning to find “purpose, passion, and a paycheck” after they retire. Each section of the handbook includes discussion points for group meetings. Appendix E offers complete meeting plans. Ideally, you should read this book as part of a retirement book club. You can use the Encore website (Encore.org) to find an Encore group in your area, if you can’t, create one out of your immediate network of friends and co-workers.

Continue Reading »

Review – Encore

Encore Book CoverEncore: Finding Work that Matters in the Second Half of Lifeby Marc Freedman

In Encore, author Marc Freedman describes the unsustainable nature of the retirement culture today. Evaluating the size of the Baby Boomer generation, Freedman concludes that the current crop of retirees needs to carve out a new niche in the workforce to ensure both economic prosperity and the appropriate delegation of existing talent. Encore encourages the reader to consider what passions they could invest in a second career. To this end, Freedman quotes developmental psychologist Erick Erickson: “I am what survives of me.” Encore targets readers who want encouragement to make use of their talents for an impactful third act.

Continue Reading »

Review – How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free

How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free: Retirement Wisdom That You Won’t Get from Your Financial Advisor
By Ernie J. Zelinski

Zelinski encourages readers to embrace the notion that a happy, fulfilling life doesn’t require a job. In fact, your job might just be getting in the way. To illustrate his points, he includes a healthy selection of correspondence from readers who have followed his advice, ditched their 9-to-5 jobs, and found creative ways to live out their dreams.

Continue Reading »

Review – How to Retire Happy

How to Retire Happy: The 12 Most Important Decisions You Must Make Before You Retire
by Stan Hinden

Stan Hinden, a retired financial writer and popular retirement columnist for the Washington Post, offers the inside scoop on retirement in his book, How to Retire Happy: The 12 Most Important Decisions You Must Make Before You Retire. He bases his advice largely on his own ups and downs after leaving the workforce. He breaks his advice down into 12 major decisions most retirees will face. At the end of each section, he includes a list of all the useful websites mentioned, as well as other suggested readings.

Continue Reading »

Review – Portfolio Life: The New Path to Work, Purpose, and Passion After 50

Portfolio LifePortfolio Life: The New Path to Work, Purpose, and Passion After 50
by David Corbett (Jossey-Bass, 2006. Available in hardcover and Kindle editions from Amazon.com.)

Portfolio Life offers a refreshing, positive view and an action-oriented framework for creating a meaningful life in what we typically think of (or perhaps used to think of) as the “retirement years.” David Corbett is founder of New Directions Inc. in Boston, which offers “planning in career and post-career fulfillment to accomplished individuals.”

Continue Reading »