Are you retiring from something? Or to something?

There seems to be a direct correlation between retirement and the “end” of something. But what about the beginning of something new?

Fact Checked by

Taylor Hegna, CFP®

What am I retiring to?

(Three questions for transitioning into your next season of life)

What comes to mind when people hear the word “retirement” can vary greatly from person to person. However, the idea of retirement is often associated with leaving a career. There seems to be a direct correlation between retirement and the “end” of something.

For some, they may be thinking about the end of long commutes, ongoing projects, clocking in and out every day. But it also can mean the end of an identity or the driving force behind what keeps them going.

It should be noted that the idea of retirement is not present throughout other cultures. For example, in the East China sea sits the Japanese island of Okinawa.

While many here in the US think of retirement as the golden age of golf greens and cottages, guess what they call retirement in Okinawa?

They don’t even have a word for it. Literally nothing in their language describes the concept of stopping work completely. Instead they have the word ikigai (pronounced like “icky guy”), which roughly translates to the reason you wake up in the morning.” 

What did you wake up to do today?

Should punching the clock come to an end, what will be the driving factor that motivates you?  The objective is not to think about what you are retiring from, but rather what you are retiring to. What have you been waiting to experience that you could not during the working years of life? Perhaps there are new hobbies or business ventures ahead of you or rekindling of significant relationships to pursue.

Where do I gain my energy from?

A great starting point for many people relates to where they see themselves energized as they engage with different activities, experiences and conversations. There are natural interests and relationships that generate and increase momentum in life. Identifying these areas can show what may be the next focal point for this new season of life.

What’s the money for?

Year after year people work and save diligently for their retirement years. In order to do so takes commitment and sacrifice. There are certain experiences and purchases that must be forgone in order to say “yes” to desired experiences in the future. What were the all the “no’s” for?

When the time comes to say “yes” to this new chapter of life, what will that mean to you? Once assured that the everyday expenses of life are covered, granting permission to dream becomes necessary.

Have a Question?

Do you have specific questions about your next life phase? How can we help?