Planning your work/life 50plus

The life we lived over the past 50 or more years was one of education, work, family, retirement and death. A linear life designed by how life was in the 20th century. The smart computer, the internet combined with longevity is changing this design. For those of us over 50 we have the choice of a bonus/legacy season before our bodies grow old. For the younger generations, these changes are happening earlier on in their lives. What does this mean for you?

New conversations and thinking are necessary. We are used to having our lives designed around our work. We need to now take charge of designing our work around our life. We traded security for loyalty. This no longer exists. We need to take responsibility to design what will work best for us.

We arrive at this life-stage with good/poor health and enough/too little money. These two factors will influence the design process. The greatest challenge though is understanding and taking personal responsibility and not waiting for an institution to make the decision for you. The new world of work calls for new skills, opportunities to earn locally and globally and designing a life that makes you happy. Serving others can also add a level of purpose and happiness. Sustaining yourself for longer is a key factor not experienced by our ancestors.

Below are three major strategies to follow to design this legacy season.

1. Work with your financial advisor to understand your financial future. What do your collective investments look like and how long will your money last. Would leaving your money to grow and not drawing down immediately change your future? If you still have debt, what do you need to do to be debt free? Do you know how much you need to live on monthly? How can you reduce this if needed to stretch your finances?

2. Who are the people in your life that matter? Have you had these important conversations with your spouse/partner? Do you still have aging parents that need care? Your children and grandchildren may be close or far. How does this impact your future? These difficult conversations are needed to gain clarity on the future scenarios. Is your local community important to you? Do you want to travel? Where do you want to live? Do you want to downsize? What are your options?

3. Once these conversations have happened, you should have a much better idea of designing the work you can do around your life. This should be a season where the work you do is something you love. Your work should integrate into your life and make you happy. Money and meaning are both currencies and the amount you are paid may not be as important as it was in your primary career. Learning new skills and broadening your horizons could be critical to achieving these goals. Can your hobby become an income source? Can you coach online? Could you plan to do several projects rather than one? Do you want to start your own business? Do you want to travel and work? How much money do you need to earn?

Designing this new life for yourself is not easy. There are many steps and sometimes working with a coach can help you to navigate your path. We can be inspired by others and learn new skills that can open new opportunities. The world we live in now offers more collaboration and co-creation than we ever had before. The challenge is in connecting the dots for your path and to create a future that will bring peace and happiness into your life.

Plan for your 2020 vision by joining/engaging with 50plus-skills. This community platform offers many answers to the questions you may have and to finding a teacher for the skills you may need. We all need a place to belong and feel needed. In the end it is people that matter. Isolation is known to be detrimental to our health and we all need a reason to get up daily. Plan your life well. You only have one. Make the most of this next season.