You are retiring or retired, now what?

In my last post, I talked about the myths of aging. Those myths range from “everyone who is older falls” to “I can’t get stronger,” and most important, “I’ll do xyz when I retire.”

How do you spend your time

So now you are retired or getting close – what’s next?  I like to think of our life as a pie, we spend our first 25 years learning, the next 40 years working and the last 30 years “retired.”

As you can see the retirement piece is a pretty big chunk of time. How we spend it is important. There are implications financially, healthwise, and overall well-being.  I see lots of people retire and just settle into their easy chairs.  That’s a long time to be sitting and staring at the TV.

If you think you are old, you likely are

If you think you are old, then likely you are.  How can you reframe how you perceive being 60 and older?  Can you “label” yourself with a new word?  Here are a few words to describe older adults from the book Stage (Not Age) by Susan Wilner Golden.

Think of these new words and adopt one as your own

Explorers, Middlers, Middlescence, Yold, Modern Elders, Bloomers, Distinguished. Does one of these resonate with you?

The author, during a workshop, asked the attendees to identify names that were comfortable to them.  The focus leaned more on aging well, as well as successful and healthy aging. Different words resonated differently with people. Vibrancy and forward-looking were important to all. Do you think that way? Do you imagine your life purpose with a sense of vibrancy and an eye on the future?

Golden states that our life is more than the traditional 3 pieces of the pie in the image above. There are more than the traditional model of Learning, Earning, and Retirement.  According to Golden, there can be 5 components. The first two are traditional learning and earning.  The remaining 3 components focus on those 55 to 100+ years of age.  She describes them as Renaissance (55-85), Legacy (75-100), and Extra (100+).

A new way of thinking about ages 55 to 100+

The Renaissance component is the focus of today’s blog. It is the time of re’s: repurposing, rejuvenation, renaissance, and reevaluation.  This is the time when you take inventory of your life, continue working, engage in purposeful activity, and add a whole new vibrancy to who you are and what you do.

I refer you to Gary Wilkin’s book Awakening Your Dreams: Seven Principles To Create A Life You Love

See below for the link to the book

If you are someone who asks, what’s next, this book is for you. Do you look at the next 20, 30, or 40 years ahead as inspirational or do you look at it with dread and decline? What did you think retirement would look like?

You can revive and reawaken yourself and your life at any stage if you want to. It really is your choice.

Gary lists seven principles that make sense and may have you hitting your forehead and saying duh, but they serve as beacons for getting your life on a positive trajectory to help you create the life you maybe always thought about, but haven’t yet hit the go button.

The Seven Principles

The Seven Principles are as follows:

1. The Principle of Choice

2. The Principle of Responsibility

3. The principle of Purpose

4. The principle of Goals

5. The principle of Balance

6. The Principle of Habits and Routines (my favorite!)

7. The Principle of Transformation

I am not going to give away the good information that is in this book but suffice it to say it’s a quick and meaningful read that just may give you that kick in the pants. Now is the time to get out of the easy chair and put down that remote control.

BONUS: There is even a link in the book to a journal that you can download and develop your own life plan!

Give me one good reason that you don’t want to do something like this.

Remember, Movement Begets Movement. This means you have to start.  Rather you are thinking about your fitness, a new job, or adventure, only YOU can make the choice to, as Gary would say “Create the Life You Love.”

Another way of looking at it is, no 90yr old wished they had less muscle, did more of nothing, and felt really rewarded that they spent 30 years in retirement sitting around. I challenge you to find me that person.

How are you going to get started with a NEW YOU? It’s never too late no matter your age. In the words of Nike “Just Do It.


Let me know in the comments what you have planned for YOUR FUTURE SELF.


Stage (Not Age), by Susan Wilner Golden 2022 Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation

Awakening Your Dreams: Seven Principles to Create a Life You Love, Gary Wilkin

Sandi Feaster