Ready for an Early Retirement Pink Slip?

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   KEY POINTS

  • Only 5 percent of folks are mentally ready for the “early retirement pink slip.” Are you?
  • Nearly 70 percent of folks are lost when they retire, even if they are financially ready.
  • Start thinking today about what you will be doing every day once you retire (even if you are not even close to the retirement age).

Regardless of whether you are in your 20th, 30th, 40th, 50th, or 60th, one day, you will retire. At least all of us are hoping for it. But what you do (or don’t do) today will affect your retirement. 

If you are in your 20th or 30th, chances are you will switch from job to job often. In the old days, people held one job, the same job for 40 or so years, and then they would retire. They all thought, of course, they will be happy when they retire and be satisfied for the rest of their life. But the truth is, based on the research, most of them were unhappy, and they struggled. Their job was their life purpose, and they lost it.

These folks were unable to find a connection between company purpose and their purpose. What is your life purpose? Is it connected with your company’s goal, vision, and mission? If not, did you find something you can do after hours, weekends, any free time you might have?

I remember seeing my dad throughout his working career and the short period he lived after he retired. He gave it all to the bank he worked for as he should. But he did not think of his personal life goals. So, when retired. He was lost as well.

And at that moment, I told myself I would give everything to the business that pays my bills. Everything. But I will have to find a way to keep some energy for myself to ensure I live a purposeful and meaningful life. I don’t want to be lost when I reach the retirement age. I want to be happy. 

I don’t care if you are a janitor or Wall Street executive. Unless you find an actual purpose, a true calling in your job (or performing what you believe you called for after-hours ), all you have is a job. And when that ends, you will be lost too. Especially if one day you get asked to retire. Or, even worse, get pushed out with no way back. In the best-case scenario, you might be financially ready, but not emotionally.

So what can one do to prepare for a happy retirement?

Ten years ago or so, a good friend of mine, let’s call him John, a former C-Level executive, and I were talking about retirement. He told me, “I have so much money I don’t know what to do with it, but I can’t quit my job. I would not know what to do with myself “. I offered to help since I had so many ideas on how to use his money. For some reason, he did not take the offer :).

Unfortunately, John received an early retirement pink slip (like many of his C-Level Executives do) and was forced out of the job. And yes, he was lost for a long, long time…

If you, the reader, have a similar problem, I ask that you please reach out to me. I will find a good use for your money and help you prepare for your retirement. Instead of worrying about what to do when you retire, you will be happy you’re retired.

Joke aside, ask yourself, “What will I be doing every day all long when I retire.” How much golf can I play? How long can I be lying down on that beautiful beach I always wanted to go to? How much time can I spend on my yacht [I don’t have one, but you might)?

You are working hard, and rightfully so, you think you can spend the entire retirement just relaxing and doing nothing. But we humans are built to do something. To contribute and live a purposeful and meaningful life. Then, and only then, we will be happy and live the life worth living.

So ask yourself again. What will I be doing when I retire? What if they “surprise me” and give me a pink slip tomorrow? I know this will not happen to you, but what if it does? And assuming you have a plan, a financial plan to continue living the life you live. What is your “other” goal? What is your true calling?

You have a good job. Possibly a great career. But not a true calling. Look for it now. Find something that you love to do. Learn to do it even better. Volunteer. Spend some nights and weekends working on it. Preparing for what one day may surprise you—or planning for it so it will be no surprise no matter what.

If you think you might not be financially ready for your “early retirement,” look at the things you love to do, you are good at it, and that it has the potential of bringing income to your retirement. Here are a few questions to get you started:

  •  How can I serve others?
  •  How can I help the less fortunate?
  •  What do I love to do?
  •  What am I truly passionate about?
  •  What am I enthusiastic about?

When you think of helping others, it is a great way to find something you love. Don’t wait. Take action toward your happy retirement today. Maybe even create a second career you genuinely love. It will not feel like work at all. Something you can do for the rest of your life. Till the last day on this beautiful planet.

I don’t care If you are in your 20th, 30th, 40th, 40th, 50th, or 60th.

Find your true calling and make the retirement plan.

The retirement from your job might come earlier than you plan.

But if you prepare mentally, you will not be surprised.

You will be ready to do what you love for the rest of your life.

And you will never work again.

Start planning for it today.

And you can thank me later.

Braco Pobric is an Internationally Recognized Positive Psychology Expert, Executive Coach, and Corporate Trainer. He is the bestselling author of Habits and Happiness: How to Become Happier and Improve Your Wellbeing by Changing Your Habits. Braco is a founding member and Chief Happiness Officer of the Life Success Academy, Certified Positive Psychology Master Trainer, and former globally Certified Trainer and Business Coach for Dale Carnegie Training. He trained over 60,000 Students in 172 countries.