Review is an important step as you move into retirement planning. Consequently, it's the first step in Charting Your Personal Future.

Robert Conyne

3/3/2021 2 min read

Take a look at the two people walking on the beach in the photo introducing this Blog.  What are they seeing as they move along? What is their vantage point? What will help chart their futures?  What may await them?  And how might retiring be part of all that?

There are a couple of broad possibilities for what and where they may be looking.

In one, they are looking outward, viewing the environment with all it unfolds and, no doubt, marveling at its awesomeness. This is the more common perspective.

In the other perspective, they may be looking inward, with the surroundings--probably without conscious intent--serving as a kind of screen upon which they  project their own images.  They may be imagining thoughts, ideas, memories, and dreams that may be awaiting them, the promises as well as the challenges.

In either case, opportunities for the important process of reviewing can be stimulated.

Reviewing our lives is too often neglected.  We all are busy creatures, after all, jamming much into our daily lives.

We are Doers, moving ahead always, or trying to do so.  Sometimes overdoing it, leaving little room for stepping back, taking pause, allowing ourselves to simply Be.  "Let it Be," said the Beatles, in one great song.

Giving ourselves time to review and to reflect is a gift that we need to be open to more regularly.  When we take the time to review, whether it be stimulated outwardly or inwardly, opens us up to new possibilities, new awareness, new directions.

As you have noticed, Review is the first step in the Charting Your Personal Future model of retirement planning.  So, as you begin to consider retirement, first of all give yourself the gift of time to review.  You need not be on a beautiful beach or boating through open waters to do this, although it might help.  Anywhere can work, any time that you have the time. Take a breath.  Pause.  Look outward for stimulation, look inward for inspiration.  

As a start, consider these five areas:

1.  Who are you?  What makes you tick?  What are your strengths, supports, interests, and values?  What don't you like? What is your health status (physical, social, emotional, psychological, spiritual, financial)?

2.  Why are you here?  What is meaningful to you? What is your purpose?  What could it be?  What makes you happy?

3.  Where are you headed? What appeals to you?  What goals do you have for retirement? What could retirement be for you?  How might you get started?

4.  What about your environment? Are there opportunities to support you, your family (if that is pertinent), and your retirement?  Where do you want to live and in what kind of housing?  Do you have interest in working and/or volunteering and are there options available?  What quality of life do you seek?

5.  Putting it together:  What does your review assessment suggest to you?  What does it all mean in terms of retirement?

Many people find keeping a journal to be very helpful with reviewing life questions, events and experiences.  You might consider beginning one.  Start the journal  by jotting down some "answers" to each of the 5 questions above.  Be open to what you find.