12 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You “Un-Retire”

When Ian retired a few years ago, unhealthy I found myself wishing for the day when I could announce my own retirement. A few months later I saw him and asked how he was enjoying retirement. “I hate it, malady I never should have retired,” he said. He identified so strongly with his work that without it he felt lost. Unfortunately he’s in good company. According to Statistics Canada, 64% of retirees express some regrets within 1 to 3 years of full retirement. There are several reasons why 2 out of every 3 retirees regret their decision.

  • Few people take time to plan for the lifestyle they hope to have in retirement. According to the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, only 14% of Boomers actually plan for the lifestyle they want, while most plan financially to some extent.
  • Boomers are living longer which may lure them into thinking that there is no rush to plan.  The pressure mounts when they find themselves unexpectedly out of work and retired with little to no time to plan a smooth transition. We all want to retire on our own terms but it doesn’t always work out that way.
  • Boomers define what retirement means for them differently than their parents did. With more choices than ever before, unlimited possibilities and fewer role models to guide them, it’s easy to see why many feel lost or uncertain about what retirement will look like.
  • Many want to continue to work beyond age 60 or 65, but they often face age barriers from companies who haven’t quite caught up to the benefits of mature workers.

One way to avoid finding yourself retired and wishing you hadn’t is to look at this transition as “un-retirement” – a combination of work, volunteerism and leisure – rather than the traditional view of retirement. This new perspective examines all the possibilities available to you so you can continue to contribute, on your own terms. One way to ensure that your retirement lifestyle is the one you really want to pursue is to take time to ask yourself these questions.

  1. Work: Do I want to continue to work in some capacity?  What will that look like? For how long?
  2. Health: What activities will I build into my daily routine to stay active and healthy?
  3. Financial: What adjustments will I have to make financially to fit my new retirement lifestyle?
  4. Leisure: What leisure activities do I want to pursue (e.g. hobbies, travel)
  5. Family: How important is it that I live near my children and grandchildren?
  6. Friends: Are there common interests and leisure activities we might pursue together?
  7. Life Partner: What interests do my life partner and I have? Which ones are different?
  8. Community: How involved do I want to be in my community? How much time will I give?
  9. Knowledge: Is there something I’d like to learn more about (e.g. genealogy, philosophy)?
  10. Environment:  Where do I want to live and what type of home do I want or need?
  11. Spiritually: Will my spiritual practice evolve in retirement? How?
  12. Sense of self: What activities will help me maintain a high level of optimism and self-esteem?

These questions are designed to get you thinking about and gain insights into what your unique un-retirement might look like. The full answers may only come in retirement. That’s OK. The aim is to help you identify the hopes and dreams you have for your retirement. Take time now to do a little more lifestyle planning will help you feel good about your decision to retire and give you lots to look forward to. The hard work of career building is done now. It’s time to enjoy all that you’ve worked so hard to achieve.

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How to Become the STaR of Your Own Retirement

If I asked you what hopes you have for your retirement, cost what would you say? You might be surprised to hear that most people say they don’t want to stop working. The answer seems counterintuitive to the notion we have about what retirement should be, treatment doesn’t it? But for a generation who measures much of its self-worth on their career, imagining a life without work is a scary proposition.

When I ask participants in my seminars if they have a retirement lifestyle plan, most say they don’t. They usually have a financial plan but not a lifestyle plan. According to a survey conducted by Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, only 14% of Fiftysomethings make a lifestyle plan. Stats Canada also found that 2 in 3 new retirees express some regrets within the first 3 years of their retirement. Lack of lifestyle planning may very well be the reason why so many are struggling during the first few years of retirement.

Next to establishing a career and raising a family, retirement is one of the biggest transitions we make in our lifetime. It challenges every part of life – social, physical, intellectual and spiritual. To engage fully in a retirement lifestyle that is meaningful and filled with purpose, we must have a good sense of what it is we hope to achieve.  It can be helpful to think of how we want to show up, how we want our STaR to shine in retirement.


In the early stages of retirement, it’s natural to feel lost in a sea of murky waters, without a clear view of what lies ahead. During the early stages friendships from work began to drift away and daily routines are unclear. It’s a time when we feel compelled to re-confirm the values we hold dear, and we may find ourselves struggling with our new identity as “retirees”. It’s the perfect time to ask ourselves what retirement will mean exactly; what we’re going to do with all the free time we have. There are only so many golf games to be played and trips to take before we realize that we want more out of retirement. Lifestyle planning in invaluable to gain clarity on the interests and dreams we want to pursue in retirement and to do a reality check of what’s possible. Ideally the planning starts long before retirement officially happens.


Once the murky waters begin to clear, most retirees emerge with clearer goals and a newfound purpose. They find meaningful ways to stay productive and have a better understanding of what they need to do to stay physically and intellectually active. This may include work, volunteering or finding other outlets to contribute to society in rich and engaging ways. Learning is also important. Those who thrive have found the sweet spot in the lifestyle they want in retirement. Life has a new pace that feels right. They realize that they are no longer infatuated with the notion of what might have been and are content to simply enjoy life. Research shows that spiritually, in the broader sense of the word, takes on a new level of importance in retirement.

 and Reconcile

Later in retirement the time comes to reconcile those things that no longer serve us well. That time comes, early on, midway through or at the end of retirement when we make peace with what never was or will be. We settle differences that drain our energy and restore harmony in our lives. It’s an individual process that has no best before date.

Retirement has its own unique cycle and every retiree moves through the cycle at their own pace. It is a time of personal growth that offers an opportunity to put the spotlight on what’s most meaningful to you – a time to become the STaR of your own life. It is also a time to polish the rough edges of a legacy that will inspire younger generations.

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Nine Reasons Retirement is Different for Boomers

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”  In his book, and P.S. I love You (1990), prescription author, viagra dosage H.  Jackson  Brown Jr. attributed this quote to his mother. It is an “a propos” reflection for the thousands of Boomers who are embarking on their own retirement journey.

There is no question that Boomers are re-inventing the concept of retirement. Whether they are contemplating retirement, embarking on this new journey or settling into a period of what would best be described as “un-retirement”; they are all busy figuring out the next twenty plus years will look like. Boomers are looking at retirement differently than previous generations because their life was shaped and influenced by a vastly different world  than in previous generations.

  1. Boomers were raised in a time of prosperity when anything seemed possible.  Their parents were raised during the great depression.
  2. Boomers experienced the explosion of technology and the birth of a knowledge economy which opened access to the world.
  3. Boomers married later in life and had 1.5 children, on average, compared to 3.5 for their parents. The offspring of Boomers were raised with more liberal values.
  4. Boomers were, and still are idealists. They pushed the boundaries on important social issues including gender and racial equality. They were game changers when they were young adults and they still are today.
  5. Boomers were the first generation where dual careers and dual incomes were the norm; but that doesn’t mean they are better off financially.
  6. Boomers tended to be more nomadic as they pursued career opportunities. They were more likely to live in suburbia. Their parents were community builders.
  7. Boomers were shaped by a global perspective which opened up a myriad of new possibilities that were not available in previous generations.
  8. Boomers had access to higher education as a norm, while many of their parents left school to work after the 8th or 10th grade.
  9. Boomers had and continue to have better and more access to healthcare.  Because of advances in healthcare, the average life span has increased by 15 years longer than previous generations.  This means much more time spent in retirement.

So how do these influences shape retirement differently for Boomers? With an idealism that is embedded in their DNA and not easily tempered, Boomers aren’t quite ready for lawn bowling, bingo night, or a good game of cards. That may come later. They have many more goals to accomplish and dreams to chase. Armed with good health and lots of energy, they are ready to tackle new challenges. They are hungry to learn more about the world and its cultures; to consider new philosophies and explore the breath of their spirituality.

This new generation of retirees has the time and resources to make significant contributions to humanity and to the planet, whether it’s eradicating poverty, advocating for the environment or promoting peace. They have longevity on their side which allows them to continue to make meaningful contributions to society for many more years to come. Forget retirement! Hello un-retirement!

Dianne is a certified coach who helps Boomers to create rich and inspired lifestyle plans for their retirement.  In her new book: If There Are No Limits… A guide to living with passion, purpose and possibilities, she explores how we navigate the dynamics of continual change in our lives. For more information, visit the book page on this website. 


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Irrelevance in Retirement – Not An Option For Boomers!

When Ian retired a few years ago, viagra I felt envious and wished for the day when I could announce my own retirement. A few months later I asked him how he was enjoying retirement. “I hate it, cialis I never should have retired,” he said. He identified strongly with his work and felt lost with all the idle time at his disposal. Unfortunately Ian’s in good company. According to Statistics Canada, 64% of retirees express regret within the first three years of retirement.

One of the biggest fears Boomers have about retirement is becoming irrelevant. In a world that values youth, status and achievement; it’s easy to see why one could feel irrelevant when they stop working.  It is almost impossible to fit those values into retirement. It doesn’t help either that the Webster dictionary defines retirement as withdrawal from life, isolation and loneliness, retreat and departure. Is this where we got the idea that when we reach 65, we’re done and no longer relevant? This definition certainly doesn’t fit the perspective of an idealist generation like the Boomers.

This newest generation of retirees sees retirement as the beginning of a new life chapter that is embracing and engaging, one that needs a new set of values. We also need a new word for retirement; and who better to find that new word than Boomers – the re-inventers of everything. Some say retirement is not for the faint at heart.  A fresh perspective and a new lifestyle plan will go a long way to help this generation build a highly relevant and meaningful retirement life.

Ask New Questions

Begin by asking – What am I in this chapter of my life? Now that I’m no longer racing off to work to service customers, lead organizations or build houses, what am I?  Now that I’m no longer busy caring for my family, what am I? Then ask – now that I’m heading into a different stage of life, who am I?  These are not easy questions, but they are necessary to challenge a perspective that may no longer fit.

Go on a QUEST

  • Question – Explore what passions are still unfulfilled and what new opportunities exist. This will help you to create a new purpose for this chapter.
  • Understand – Consider what’s important around the four anchors of life – mind, body, soul and spirit, to find what you want to do in retirement.
  • Evaluate – Select the things that are most important such as social connections, projects, community activities and wellness. Then add spice with a variety of meaningful leisure activities.
  • Secure knowledge – Be open to learning new things. With time to spare, learning something new may very well lead you to pursue items on your bucket list that you never knew you could do.
  • Treasure insights – You have tons of wisdom to share. Find every opportunity you can to share your experiences and knowledge with younger generations. They will be richer for it.

Retirement is Renewal

Look at retirement as a new beginning and a period of renewal; where you rediscover the dreams you had put on the back burner or find new dreams to pursue. Make time to “sharpen the saw” as Stephen Covey wrote about in his book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Reconnect with extended family and old friends. This is the time when you can do the things that bring you the greatest joy. You also have the luxury of time to really care for yourself, not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually.

Since there is no recipe on what Boomers should be doing in retirement, we get to define it our own terms. The list of possibilities is unlimited. The idealism that is in the DNA of this generation should serve us well as we begin this new and exciting chapter. Retirement from work is inevitable, but retirement from life is optional. And becoming irrelevant isn’t even on the radar.

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Week 52 – Cheers To A Successful Year

What is the true measure of a successful life?  And is there only one way to measure success? When someone tells you that success is being in the corner office of a global corporation and earning a six figure income or owning a condo in downtown Manhattan, are they defining success generally or is it their individual perspective on what success looks like?  Success is measured in as many ways as there are people defining it.  Denzel Washington may have stumbled onto the best definition of all of them. “For me, success is inner peace. That’s a good day for me.” 

Success does happen every day, in the life we choose to lead, not as a future event when all has been achieved. It is determined by the attitude we bring to all we do in life. It is also about growing and finding contentment within our souls. In addition, success is:

  • Cultivating the abundant riches within our soul and discovering all that we can become by setting our imagination-free to achieve our true passions.
  • Making time to be with friends and family and opening our hearts to those whose heart is closed.
  • Never giving up in the face of adversity and calling on our inner resilience to face our fears and find the courage to work through those fears.
  • Accepting our limits and our shadows while understanding that doing your best is enough, even when others say it isn’t so.
  • Giving for the pure joy of making the gift.  The more we give the more we get back in life.

No one can define what success means to you, except you. Success is as unique as snowflakes. If you want to get a real appreciation of all the success you achieve in your everyday life, get into the habit of keeping a journal of your accomplishments. You’ll astound yourself when you realize how much success you already have achieved.


Dianne is a certified coach who is passionate about helping individuals thrive as they successfully manage the dynamics of incessant demands and constant change.  She is the author of a new book: If There Are No Limits… A guide to living with passion, purpose and possibilities. For more information, visit the book page on this website. 

Week 51 – How To Create Inspired Goals That Stick

Compared to the million things we need to do, pharm creating goals may seem restrictive, diagnosis mundane and no fun at all. So why make them? Research shows again and again that well-articulated and written goals have a much higher success rate than intentions. A written goal is half the work done.

But goals don’t need to be boring. They should harness the best of your dreams, medical while being sprinkled with a dose of reality. We all have fantasies about owing a luxury home on the beach or in the mountains, yet the majority of us can’t afford this. Instead, let’s create goals that are real and add some swagger to help us achieve the most important goals we’ll ever achieve – our life goals. SWAG goals have four very important components that point to success. A SWAG goal is a Spicy, Winning, Audacious, Goals.

  • Spicy – Draw on your passions to create inspiring goals. A goal needs to be intrinsically motivated. A goal must have a resounding “I WANT to do it” and “I NEED to do it” stirring in your belly for it to have any chance of success.
  • Winning – A goal needs to be extrinsically motivated as well. It has to produce results you can see. The measurable outcomes provide the roadmap you need to stay on track while you’re implementing your goal.
  • Aspiring This is where you set actions that are realistic, yet stretch your abilities to become a better you. Tangible and achievable actions will sustain your energy and commitment to realize your goal.
  • Goal – A goal is not really a goal until you make a commitment to yourself to carry out the activities that will bring your goal to fruition. Assign a timeline to each activity and organize them in a sequence to achieve the success you want. Use the power of 3 small steps, every day, to keep moving forward with your goal and to maintain momentum.

Using your Think Big Bucket List from the exercise you did in week # 50, select a goal you want to achieve in the next 6 months.  Using the structure below, create a goal that is both inspiring and realistic. Be sure to make the goal spicy, winning and aspiring.

  1. Spicy – My goal is…
  2. Winning – I am taking the following actions… I am using the following resources…
  3. Aspiring – My goal will be completed by…
  4. Goal – My goal is accomplished when… I am celebrating…

Even the most motivating of goals will be challenging to keep when life gets in the way. If you feel a little overwhelmed or you’re struggling to move through one of the activities, try breaking it down to even smaller chunks. And if you hit a snag with a particular chunk, break it down into smaller steps. Identify the obstacles that are getting in the way so you can take the necessary steps to address these issues. Ask for help. This is not a race. It’s about pursuing a goal that is important to you and creating the most beautiful masterpiece – your life lived on purpose.


Dianne is a certified coach who helps individuals thrive as they successfully manage the dynamics of incessant demands; and the author of a new book: If There Are No Limits… A guide to living with passion, purpose and possibilities. For more information, visit the book page on this website. 

Week 50 – When It Comes To Life Goals – Think Big!

When she was honored during the 2006 US Tennis Open Championship, viagra 60mg Billie Jean King, cialis professional tennis player, told the crowd that when she was just five years old, she boldly announced to her mother she was going to do something important with her life. At the tender age of five, Billie Jean didn’t have a specific plan but she had a passion to make a difference. She went on to accomplish her dream by becoming a role model and advancing the rights of women in tennis.

Goals are the result of bringing dreams, plans and motivations into a workable form to produce a favorable outcome. It is a well-known fact that by planning and developing clear goals, we can significantly increase our chances of achieving greater success. Without planning, we tend to react to the busy-ness of life instead of creating a more meaning life.

Think about goals as your bucket list for the life you want. To be inspiring they must connect to your dreams and personal vision. Write down all the goals you have in every aspects of your life (e.g. work, relationships, community, well-being, etc).

  • Think Big: In 10 years I am accomplishing…
  • Think Mid-Term:  In 5 years I am accomplishing…
    Think Short-Term:  In 2-3 years I am accomplishing…
    Think Right Now: In the next 12 months I am accomplishing…

With a good list of the goals in hand and an idea on when you want to achieve these goals, you now have a list to inspire you to reach new heights of success. Next week we’ll focus on developing one specific goal, complete with actions, steps and a timeline.


Dianne is a certified coach who helps individuals thrive as they successfully manage the dynamics of incessant demands; and the author of a new book: If There Are No Limits… A guide to living with passion, purpose and possibilities. For more information, visit the book page on this website. 

Week 49 – Is Paying Attention To What I Want A Selfish Act?

Is it selfish to want? Many were raised with the notion that we must only ask for what we really need. And we understand this to mean only the basic necessities of life. Too often wants are seen as selfish and materialistic.  Yet it is natural for the heart and soul to want out of life. Wants are the ideals that keep us searching and growing, store to reach our full potential. Wants add meaning, cialis spirit and soul to our life. They keep us looking forward and give us hope. And they are usually not material things. We may want to be more compassionate and kind towards others; to love, link heal and bring about peace in the world. There may be a budding artist or musician inside, dying to come out.

This week, allow yourself to ask yourself what you really want out of your life? What will make you jump out of bed each morning, filled with boundless energy? Here are six areas to stir your creative juices as you create an inspiring list of what you really want out of your life.

  1. What are 3-5 things you want more out of your relationships?
  2. What are 3-5 things you want to do to improve your skills, talents and abilities?
  3. What are 3-5 things you want to do to improve your overall well-being (e.g. fitness, nutrition, rest and relaxation, mental agility)?
  4. What are 3-5 places you want to visit?
  5. What are 3-4 things you’d like to try at least once?
  6. What else would you like to do, experience, and try?

I hope you have a long list. This is the stuff that inspires us to keep growing and to become our best selves. Start thinking about the reasons you want these things and how you can make them happen. Incorporate the most important items into your goals for next year.  My bet is your life will take a giant step forward in the right direction. And those around you will notice and benefit.

Dianne is a certified coach who helps individuals thrive as they successfully manage the dynamics of incessant demands; and the author of a new book: If There Are No Limits… A guide to living with passion, purpose and possibilities. For more information, visit the book page on this website. 

Week 48 – Draw On Your Own Creativity To Create New Possibilities

If I was to ask you to rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 with ten being very creative, prescription where would you rate your creativity?  Most people rate their creativity on the low end of the scale.  Somehow, over time they’ve convinced themselves that unless they can paint like Picasso, sing like Adele or act like Tom Hanks, they aren’t creative.

The truth is we apply our creativity to many areas of our lives on a daily basis.  We are creative when we make plans, when we build things and when we solve problems. Without creativity, we couldn’t function very well.  But creativity doesn’t just come through moments of inspiration. It has to be stirred, and these tools can help anyone get inspired.

  • Brainstorming with others – get together with friends to generate ideas, options and alternatives.  You know what they say – two (or three) heads are definitely better than one.
  • Mind maps/story boards – this is a great tool to build on an idea.
  • Collage/vision board –a collage can help you see all the possibilities that can bring your idea to life.
  • Music and art – music, a visit to a museum or rummaging through photos can inspire your creativity.
  • Dance and sports – watching a dancer’s movements or an athlete at their peak performance can stir your creativity.
  • Nature – getting up close and personal to nature is sure to get your inspired.

Creativity is like any other muscle; the more you exercise it, the more you become creative.  Use your own creativity to plan your next career move, make changes in your life or solve a problem.  If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it. New possibilities can only come when we open ourselves up to new and exciting ideas.

Dianne is a certified coach who helps individuals thrive as they successfully manage the dynamics of incessant demands; and the author of a new book: If There Are No Limits… A guide to living with passion, purpose and possibilities. For more information, visit the book page on this website. 

Week 47 – Who and What Inspires You To Be Your Best Self?

As you begin to turn your attention to the New Year that is ahead and consider your goals for next year, erectile it can be helpful to think of all that inspires you to become your best self.  The people you consider to be your role models and the things that remind you to be the best you can be provide wonderful insights into the goals you want to create.  The goals you set for your personal life must not only be born out of logic but also of the heart if they are to be spicy, winning and motivating. These goals need to inspire you to be all that you hope to become in order to motivate you to continue, especially when you hit snags or the goals become difficult.  This week, spend a few moments thinking and who and what inspires you?

  1. Think about the 3-5 people you most admire and the qualities they have that you admire in them.  These qualities are often the ones you want to develop further in yourself.
  2. Think about the things that inspire you?  Is it music or movies?  Is it the pictures or mementoes you collected over the years?  Is it being in nature and all that is wondrous about it?  What else inspires you?

Make a list, a collage or collect these in a box and use them as a reference point. Use them to inspire your goals as you create the absolute best self you can become.

Dianne is a certified coach who helps individuals thrive as they successfully manage the dynamics of incessant demands; and the author of a new book: If There Are No Limits… A guide to living with passion, purpose and possibilities. For more information, visit the book page on this website.