A couple of weeks ago, we hosted one of our Empowered Women Smart Money events with Gwen Kennedy and Deeta Lonergan about reinventing retirement. It was a pleasure to have my mom, Holly Cody, attend the event. This topic is very timely for her, as she has been thinking about retiring in the next 5 years or so. Two main takeaways from that evening were to establish your inner circle and find your purpose in retirement. It was great to be able to debrief with my mom and see how the information conveyed during this event changed her outlook on her upcoming retirement.
Being intentional in creating an inner circle, or community, seemed to resonate with several of the women that I spoke with after the event. This is ideally a diverse group of people, who are not family, bound to each other by shared goals. Gwen and Deeta stressed the importance of having this type of support system in retirement to keep you engaged and maintain your social life. My mom said that she has now really started thinking about who is in her inner circle and how she can keep and build those relationships.
The other concept that Gwen and Deeta presented to the group was to find your purpose and revisit your passions. They described how most people who reach retirement age have a desire to give forward and leave a legacy to their community and the world. Gwen said that knowing and living your purpose can increase your life expectancy by seven years! Again, this really left an impression on my mom and after thinking about her purpose, she recounted this story to me.
My mom is a nurse and a couple of years ago, she and my dad went on a mission trip to Haiti. There is one day during their trip that really stood out to her. They drove their bus to a field where many kids were playing soccer. As soon as they arrived, a little girl broke her leg while playing. Thankfully, my mom and an EMT were there immediately to set her leg and find a car to take her to the hospital. My mom does not like to think about what could have happened to this child if they had not been there. This day meant a lot to her as she not only helped this little girl but also assisted with giving medicine and medical care to many other people who were at the field that day.
It goes without saying that my mom has a new picture of retirement. She is now planning to work part-time for as long as she can to stay engaged and she already knows her purpose – nursing missions. I hope this inspires you to revisit your passions and really focus on the purpose of your future retirement.
Kim Butler, CFP®
Associate Financial Planner