|By KERRY HANNON|
“I lost myself when my wife, Barbara, and I moved to
This summer, through weekly sessions with a retirement coach,
Retirement coaches like Ms. Grovum are popular these days. The cadre has emerged in the crowded coaching field to cater to a growing number of boomers who are grappling with what’s next.
“Retirement is clearly no longer the destination that it used to be,” said
New Directions, a coaching firm based in
“When someone retires, they tend to be literally levitating with excess productivity that can’t be channeled,”
These undertakings can include part-time work, humanitarian endeavors, entrepreneurial adventures and artistic pursuits, and there’s usually a search for legacy and significance, he said. “The vast majority of our clients have some kind of ‘give back’ gene. They want to get involved with a charitable board, or find ways to be a teacher or tutor.”
The retirement coaching process usually starts with a self-assessment that examines values and strengths and clarifies goals, hopes and dreams for the future.
Retirees answer hard questions: “Do you need to have work be part of it?” Ms. Mintzer said. “If you’re in a couple, are you in sync in terms of retiring, or not working?” It’s not unusual for women, who may be younger than their spouses or have stepped out of the work force for a time, to be at career peak while the partner is winding down, she said.
Pre-retirees are urged to run the numbers through retirement calculators to be sure they won’t outlive their savings. But it’s far harder to compute in advance how to best navigate the intangibles like building a new social network and finding value in how you spend your time in retirement. (Generally speaking, retirement coaches do not tackle financial planning, but do help clients identify their values about money.)
“I’ve definitely seen an upsurge in preplanning for people who want to think ahead and figure out what is it I want to do, how do I want to live my life, who will I be if I’m not working,” Ms. Mintzer said.
She and Ms. Mintzer, who lives in
In the meantime, Ms. Bay and her husband, Bruce, who has already retired, have a list of places that they might want to retire to. Ms. Mintzer has encouraged the couple to start visiting them now, so when Ms. Bay does throw in her hat in three or four years, the couple will be ready to take the next step.
Another segment of people who seek a retirement coach are those like
These retirees realize that something is missing, and they’ve spiraled into depression or anxiety, Ms. Mintzer said. That’s what happened to
In June, she began working with Ms. Mintzer. “I was basically acknowledging that I was incapable of figuring out the rest of my life,” Ms. Fox said. “One of the first things she told me is ‘you are not alone.’ That was huge. I’m not crazy.”
For Ms. Fox, her goals are to find new, continuing social connections, “to have some purpose in life and not just take up space for the next 20 years,” she said. “I didn’t need a therapist, I just wanted to talk to someone about what to do.”
Ms. Mintzer has emboldened her to find new activities — in addition to deepening her existing volunteer duties — like joining or starting an activity group, taking regular hiking treks, or asking fellow dog lovers for dates to walk with her and Lucy, her chocolate Labrador retriever.
Mr. Johnson’s challenge also is chiefly a social one. When he was working at
One change he has already made: reconnecting with bowling, one of his passions. “I was an avid bowler up North,” he said. “And I made a lot of friends as a member of the Unilever’s company bowling team.” He’s now practicing at the lanes near his home twice a week in preparation for joining a league.
He continues to dabble in work-related activities. After he retired, he took a course to earn the certification of enrolled agent for the I.R.S. and works part time at
“I told Debbie to be harsh and make me accountable,”
The cost and length of coaching sessions vary. At the top end, many of New Directions executive clients start coaching sessions 18 months before retirement. The package costs from
Independent coaches, like Ms. Grovum and Ms. Mintzer, typically meet with clients for 30 to 45 minutes, weekly or biweekly, by phone,
Career coaching is a self-regulated industry. Many coaches have been doing it for years without adding professional designations.
For someone working with a retirement coach, the No. 1 thing is having an open mind. “This is a fresh track adventure,”
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|Copyright:||Copyright 2014 The New York Times Company|
|Source:||New York Times Digital|