12/14/2014 08:31 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Boomer Retirement Planning -- What Have You Forgotten?

Howard Johnson's 28 ice cream flavors have melted away. No more 'All You Can Eat' Chicken or Fish Fry's, clam strips or grilled in butter hot dogs on those great buns.

Our favorite road trip restaurant didn't make it into the 21st Century -- but we did.

They didn't plan for an enlightened retirement -- but you can!

First a side trip down memory lane.

I recall with great fondness my favorite dish when I went on family trips to Boston.

The open turkey sandwich with white bread, brown gravy, cornbread stuffing and of course the little scoop of cranberry sauce. Oh yeah!

You may be near retirement, contemplating it a bit down the road or not giving it a second thought.

I've written many coaching articles but have never addressed retirement or 'moving forward' as I prefer to call it.

The reason I haven't is a simple one -- there are literally tons of posts on retirement.

So many look at some aspect of the impact of reduced income. Whether it's how to cut expenses, start saving, downsizing or relocating here or overseas -- the list is virtually endless. I find the most depressing ones include a figure "you need to retire on."

But something is often overlooked. More on this in a moment.

First we need to define our terms. For some retirement is stopping work completely, kicking back and enjoying life. This may mean doing very little or being active and pursuing activities for which you never had the time.

Others want to cut hours but still be part of the workforce. Still more don't see retirement as either an economic option or even remotely desirable. Everyone is unique and has their own vision -- or do they?

What is it that has often been forgotten or overlooked? Self-exploration!

Let's talk about wrapping your head around the concept of emotional planning, mindful awareness or simply what retirement might feel like.

One thing for sure -- you can't and won't plan for retirement until you are able to visualize it.


So what's your vision? If you're like many of the 76 million+ Baby Boomers you haven't created a mental picture. Member of Generation X -- how about you?

Let's start with a Mind Acrobatics™ exercise that will help you clarify and envision what retirement might look like. As always read the exercise first and then perform it at a convenient moment.

Mind Acrobatics Exercise: "My Retirement Mind Video"

Time Needed: 20 minutes

Location: Anyplace you can think clearly

Materials: Pen and paper

  • Sit in a comfortable position.
  • Close your eyes, smile then open them.
  • Take 6 long, slow breaths.
  • Spend a few minutes thinking about retirement.
  • What will you be doing?
  • Who will you be spending most of your time with? Yourself, a partner, friends?
  • When do you expect retirement to begin?
  • Where will you be?
  • Stop for a moment.
As you explore retirement options, remember -- it's all good!

That doesn't mean that the array of choices are everything that might be desired. However, examining how we envision our life is always a positive. It gives us data which allows us to correct course should we feel the need.

Greater self-awareness creates enhanced opportunities!

Mind Acrobatics Exercise: "My Retirement Mind Video" (part 2)

  • Think about what is working best in your life right now.
  • What's your biggest challenge?
  • Which aspects of daily life do you want to bring to your retirement?
  • What has no place in your future plans?
  • Pause once again.
Great, you've now begun to form a mental image of how your retirement might play out. You possess lots of fantastic raw footage to create your video.

Mind Acrobatics Exercise: "My Retirement Mind Video" (part 3)

  • Begin writing in stream of consciousness.
  • Describe on paper what your retirement looks like.
  • Use all the data you've accumulated -- who, what, when, where, and all the positives that you envisioned for retirement.
  • Stop writing.
  • Read over what you have written and then close your eyes and visualize a 5 minute video and soundtrack for the ideal retirement.
  • Open your eyes when the video has stopped running, smile and hug yourself!
Congratulations, you've begun the process of appreciating how you want to spend your retirement. You have defined your terms, decided what you do and don't want, created clear mental visions and even produced a 'mind video' of life in retirement.

So what's next? A whole Lot!

Now that you have a clearer picture of the future it's time to turn that vision into reality. And you can -- if you want to. The decision is yours!

You possess insider information. About yourself! Financial planners will talk to you about a self-directed retirement account.

You have all the ingredients for a Self-Directed Retirement Life.

Whether you're years from retiring -- or it's just around the corner -- take action.

Turn your 'video' into an action flick as you direct the future in a manner that will bring you pleasure and satisfaction as you 'move forward.'

As always, have fun! Life is way too short. Enjoy!


Dave Kanegis is a Certified Professional Coach and works via telephone, Skype, FaceTime and in-person. He provides concierge coaching in NYC and Palm Beach.

Read Dave's other HP articles.

Contact him at:

Much thanks to Cindy Kanegis of CBK Coaching for valuable input and suggestions!

Image - 123RF.COM / franckboston

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