10 Steps to Get on The Path to a Happy Retirement


When it comes to retirement preparation, the first thing that seems to come to mind for people is finances. Of course, the money matters are a critical part of being able to retire and determine when you will retire. After that is established, however, there is so much beyond financial preparation that you can do to ensure a happy retirement. We all know money doesn’t buy happiness, so let’s not stop at financial preparation when it comes to retirement! Your happiness in retirement is worth the effort of truly investing in your future emotional well-being.

How do you get prepared? Here are 10 steps to guide you as you consider, not only what your retirement will look like practically, but how you want to FEEL in your retirement.

1. Define your desires

Are there strengths that you want to develop? What do you want to do with your spare time? Purpose brings meaning to our lives. Knowing what you want to get out of retirement will allow you to construct a post-retirement life that is fulfilling. Make a bucket list and start checking them off while you have the energy, health and money to do so.

2. Define how much you want to work/volunteer

Could it help to have some structure and out-of-home involvement to make your transition into retirement go smoothly? Your retirement is yours to shape. Customize your life to what will serve you best. This could look like part-time work, or voluntary community involvement.

3. Grace for the transition

Moving into retirement is a big life transition and transitions are not always smooth or easy. Knowing this ahead of time can help you prepare mentally for the ups and down. What supports can you set up in advance that will give you the space to work through difficult emotions as they arise? Communicating clearly with your partner or people you are in close relationship with about your expectations for retirement is one of these critical pieces that can be extremely supportive to your transition.

4. Develop a routine

Rhythms allow us to feel safe and secure. Up until now your rhythm may have been externally imposed by having a job. Creating a customized structure for your day and an overall flow for your weekdays are good ways to maintain groundedness in retirement.

5. Exercise your mind

If you were used to problem solving or being actively engaged all day through your work, you may notice that you will need to seek out ways to actively challenge your mind in retirement. This could be by learning a new language or a new instrument, or it could be through mindfulness meditation exercises. There are many ways to exercise your mind – choose the ways that excite you most.

6. Keep physically active

Find ways to move your body every day that feel good for you. Take a walk with a friend a few times a week, or maybe there’s a gentle yoga class you can attend in your community. Staying physically active is imperative for emotional well-being.

7. Eat well

Investing in your overall well-being by being mindful of eating nourishing meals contributes massively to your emotional well-being. We are what we eat. Give your body the fuel that it needs to provide you with a happy healthy body so you continue to be active.

8. Seek out social support

If the majority of your socializing has come from your place of work, you may be feeling lost in retirement – feeling a lack of connection. Seeking out the support you need could look like being honest with your partner or close friends in regards to how you are feeling. It could also look like getting involved in your community in ways that allow you to meet new people, or perhaps rekindling old friendships.

9. Push your limits

Challenging yourself is stimulating. What better time to create new goals for your personal growth! View retirement as the beginning of a journey. Open your mind to the possibilities that exist outside of your current capabilities.

10. Give back to the community

Taking the focus off of ourselves and serving others is so healthy for our mental well-being. The joy of giving is truly unmatched, and your community will benefit from the generosity of your heart.

By integrating these 10 actions as you prepare for retirement, you’ll ensure that you find yourself enjoying the retirement of your dreams. Remember, it’s a process. Change takes time, but if you’re steering in the direction of your deepest desires, the journey is bound to be fulfilling.

For more support as you prepare for your transition into retirement, send me an email at marielle@redworkscoaching.com. As an executive and personal coach who specializes in supporting people through the emotional transition to retirement, it is my pleasure to assist you.

Impact of COVID-19 On Your Retirement

Are you a year or two away from retirement and worried about the impact the current pandemic may have on your plans?

Financial stress is real for a lot of people right now, in a lot of different ways. If you are facing the necessity of revising your timeline on retirement plans, how are you coping with this emotionally?

As a Results Certified Coach who specializes in the transition to retirement, I have the tools to support you as you navigate the emotional impact of these changes to your plans. Please reach out by sending me an email at marielle@redworkscoaching.com.


Structure in our lives

Having a daily rhythm to add structure to our lives is healthy and reassuring for us, even under usual life circumstances. Throw in the global upheaval that currently has most of us living without the routines that normally add structure to our life, and we find ourselves, now more than ever, needing to create those rhythms from scratch ourselves.

How can you create a daily or weekly rhythm that nourishes you? Start by making a list of activities that you find nourishing. This could be yoga, meditation, writing, going for a walk, or calling a friend.

Next map out your day in sections of morning, afternoon and evening, divided up by mealtimes. Choose which activities you want to do at which time of the day and put them in their appropriate sections. Create space around mealtimes for food prep – preparing healthy meals from scratch and taking the time to enjoy them is one of the most nourishing things you can do.

Next, create a similar flow with your weekly schedule – perhaps keeping a more structured routine for the weekdays and being open to loosening it for the weekends. What is the big picture of what you are hoping to attain?

At a time when there are many unknowns, and your days are spent at home without external structures to add purpose and meaning, upholding daily and weekly rhythms that you create yourself is more important than ever! ?

What activities are you finding most nourishing these days? Let’s share some inspiration in the comments

Succession Planning For Your Business

The COVID-19 outbreak has shown the importance of having a succession plan in place that accounts for unforeseen events. If your business does not already have one in place, there is no better time to do so than now!

Many small businesses are dependent on the owner, which means being capable of retirement or a career transition requires strategic forethought and action built into the structure of an organization. Having a strategy for developing people who can move up when key employees leave is critical to the long term success of a business.

The trouble is many businesses owners only start thinking about this when they are nearing the transition. Building on-going succession planning into the structure of a business will not only position the business for success when transition approaches, but it will allow the business to grow and attract top talent in the meantime.

When a business has leaders-in-training, the dependence on the owner is minimized so that in the case of leadership transition or unforeseen events, less of the stress rests on a solo individual.

To learn more about the support I offer for building succession planning into your business, visit redworkscoaching.com or send me an email at marielle@redworkscoaching.com.


Overwhelm in a time of crisis

If you feel overwhelmed by all of the unknowns right now, you are not alone. We are living through something we have not lived through before, which means all of us are wondering ‘how long?’ and ‘what will the long-term repercussions be?’

When you get caught up in this sort of ‘scary’ thinking – pause. Stay focused in the present. You have what you need at this moment. You are grounded. Think of all the things you are grateful for. Breathe.

You may not know what the future holds, but you can look at other times in your life that you had to adapt and evolve and see that you are capable of doing that.

Be present and trust that you are adaptable.


Estate Planning: The Health Care Directive

In my three-part Estate Planning series with lawyer, Elizabeth Williamson of Williamson Law, we cover the Last Will and Testament, Power of Attorney and the Health Care Directive.

In this video, Elizabeth explains the purpose of a Health Care Directive (also known as a Living Will) and what to consider when preparing one.

Focus on others

Shifting the focus off of ourselves and onto others can be really gratifying. Thinking about how we can support those around us, be it our loved ones or those within our community can be liberating as well.

We sometimes default to becoming the centre of our own universe – wrapped up in our own troubles. When we become involved with others, we become part of something that is greater than our individual self.

What are some ways you can step outside of yourself this week and offer a meaningful connection to others who may need it?

Social distancing requires creativity for this task. Drop your ideas in the comments!

Finding Meaning in Uncertain Times

Podcast Host, Cathy Heller, is often quoted for saying: “The opposite of depression isn’t being happy, it’s finding a purpose.”

How does one determine their purpose while living in such uncertain times? How do we navigate living meaningful lives when we don’t know what lies ahead of us on the journey?

When you explore your values, determine your strengths, discover your passions and find a way to channel the cumulative effect of those three things into a service, that is the place where you find your purpose.

The sense of meaning you find there can guide you even when you don’t know what lies ahead because the answer to the question ‘why’ becomes more relevant than the answer to the question ‘how’.

As a personal coach, I am here to offer further guidance to you in discovering your purpose. Please reach out by sending me a message!

Estate Planning: Power of Attorney

In my three-part Estate Planning series with lawyer, Elizabeth Williamson of Williamson Law, we cover the Last Will and Testament, Power of Attorney and the Health Care Directive.

In this video, Elizabeth explains what is a Power of Attorney; what they can and cannot do, and whether or not everyone needs one.

Estate Planning: Your Last Will and Testament

In my three-part Estate Planning series with lawyer, Elizabeth Williamson of Williamson Law, we cover the Last Will and Testament, Power of Attorney and the Health Care Directive.

In this video, Elizabeth focuses on the Will, a very important document required as part of your Estate Planning. Do you have one? If you do have a will how current is it? Does it need some updating?

She explains the importance of having a Will, what we need to create a Will, and different scenarios that could impact your last wishes.