Helping Professionals Prepare to Retire

HonnolDCounseling helps professionals to overcome indecision, make realistic plans, strengthen personal interests, renew their relationships, and prepare to relaunch their lives in retirement.

Many professionals eagerly anticipate their retirement.  Others dread it:

  • “I can’t wait to stop working.  As soon as I have the money, ‘I’m out’.”
  • “I can’t wait to have time for my grandkids.”
  • “I want to have more time for travel.”
  • “I look forward to getting caught up on sleep.”
  • “I want to stop preparing meals.”
  • “I’ll spend as much time as possible on a sailboat in the South Pacific.”
  • “I want to earn as much money as I can now, so I can retire early.”
  •  “I’ll need a part-time job after I retire, in order to pay the bills.”
  • “I’m most worried about paying my health insurance.”
  • “I’m not sure what to do with myself.  Work has been my whole life.”
  • “I don’t really have any hobbies – only reading and cooking.”
  • “I’m worried about my memory and my physical health.”
  • “I dread growing old.  I don’t feel attractive to men any more.”
  • “I’m worried about losing sexual interest, and my sexual ability.”
  • “I want to take care of myself.  I’ve always taken care of others.”
  • “I might postpone my retirement.  I’m not feeling ready.”
  • “Instead of retiring, I might start a new job, or take up volunteering.”
  • “I want to do the ‘do good’ things I never did when I was working.”
  • “If I keep working this hard, I’ll die early, and never make it to retirement.”
  • “I don’t expect to retire at all.  If I slow down, I’ll die.”
  •  “I have no friends.  With my children gone, who will be with me?”
  • “I’d like to mentor younger professionals – those just getting started.”
  • “I regret spending so many years in life doing things I don’t enjoy.”

HonnolDCounseling works with professionals, of any age, who are:

  • Considering whether or not to retire;
  • Delaying retirement in order to strengthen their safety net;
  • Preparing actively for retirement; or
  • Undergoing losses and contending with life stressors during retirement.

As a professional, you may face special opportunities and challenges in retirement:

  • Time to Travel and Explore:  If you are financially successful and in good health, you can travel and pursue recreational activities.
  • Have the Time of Your Life:  Many retirees make new relationships, find a new spouse, reclaim lost hobbies, learn new skills, and have fun.
  • Make Hard Choices:  If you are financially less secure, you may be constrained in deciding when to retire and what you can do.
  • Abandon Perfection:  If you place a premium on “excellence” in your activities, you may struggle emotionally with limitations imposed by age, loss of stamina, and surrendering “control” to the aging process.
  • Grieve Losses:  In retirement, one’s own parents have likely died; siblings, friends and a spouse may also pass away; and one’s own children may be preoccupied with their own lives and families.
  • Acknowledge Dependence:  In aging, it often becomes impossible to pretend that we can survive wholly alone, without depending on anyone.
  • Face Mortality:  As an active individual, with many accomplishments, facing illness and the inevitability of one’s own death can be overwhelming.

If you are contemplating retirement, you may wish to:

  • Confirm your financial plans;
  • Update your estate plans;
  • Ensure continuity of health coverage;
  • Renew and strengthen friendships;
  • Strengthen your emotional and physical health;
  • Plan avocational interests;
  • Downsize your possessions and relinquish “things”;
  • Move closer to family; and
  • Confirm or renew your personal faith.

HonnolDCounseling can work with you, on both an emotional and practical level, to:

  • Overcome the fears and obstacles that might keep you working longer than you need for financial reasons;
  • Strengthen your “safety net” of friends, family and supportive others;
  • Review your financial, legal, health, and safety networks;
  • Renew interests in life other than your work; and
  • Develop a retirement plan that provides a balance of meaningful activities and recreation.

Professionals bring into retirement the strengths and vulnerabilities they have acquired in life.  They also develop new ones.  HonnolDCounseling helps professionals find the strength, maturity, stamina, perspective, and good humor they need in order to make good decisions and live this late stage of life to the fullest.

“It is a small step to remember
how life led to this
moment’s hesitation.

How the door to the deeper world
opens, letting the body fall at last,
Toward the few griefs it can call its own.

Oh yes, I know. Our wings catch fire
in that downward flight
and we come to earth afraid
we can never fly again.”