Close up of older woman sitting down with friends finding purpose in retirement.

“Why is it taking me so long to shift into retirement?” 

All too often I hear the reasons why retirees didn’t seek out the guidance of a retirement coach before they retired:

  • “Asking for help is weakness.”
  • “I saved enough money.”
  • “Things will just instantly fall into place.”
  • “All those retirement ads make it look easy.”
  •  “I’ll hang out with my friends and bounce some ideas off them on what I should do.”

Face it: retirement isn’t that easy

The road to a successful retirement is paved with the hard work of accepting the fact that your work identity is over. It also requires creating a new identity that you feel confident, comfortable and excited about.

Many factors that will influence this new identity:

  • What you really want to do because you want to (your purpose in retirement)
  • Your financial situation
  • Your familial situation
  • Your circle of friends, whether new or former

And so on. As you can see there are many aspects to consider, and this new persona does not happen overnight. In fact, it may take months, if not a few years, to truly manifest itself.

Accept the fact that change must happen

Heed this advice, otherwise you could get caught up in a Groundhog Day scenario like Bill Murray and never find your purpose in retirement.

This is the time of your life when you really have the chance to make it all about legacy—so, what is your legacy? (As a Certified Retirement Coach, this is the first question I ask, and few can answer it.) 

Defining your legacy is the first step in defining your new identity

You have some freedom now, so take advantage of it and take the time to identify and shape it. By doing that you will find it is what you want your purpose in retirement—your new life’s purpose—to be.

It may drive you to seek out a board position with that special not-for-profit that can use the wisdom of your business years – and maybe your financial support – to help them with their mission. You see, some legacies are already formed, and if we are astute enough to align with them, we can then realize our legacy too.

Use your vision, wisdom, financial acumen and time to develop your legacy

Developing your legacy this way can be rewarding and defining. It takes more time and work, but for some, it is the more rewarding path. Don’t discount this path because of its immensity. Embrace it if it is the vehicle that really brings you your manifest legacy.

In the end, the level of choice you make to realize your legacy is not important. What is important is that your new path provides you with that special identity that defines your purpose. Once that is realized, your legacy appears, blossoms and takes its place aside you.

5 steps to a healthy retirement:

  1. Replace your work identity
  2. Adopt a healthy lifestyle
  3. Stay socially connected
  4. Stay cognitively engaged
  5. Find meaning and purpose in retirement and in your new life

If your retirement goals feel like they’re slipping further away with each passing moment, don’t despair! All you need is some extra support and guidance to finally make the retirement lifestyle of your dreams your achievable reality. It’s all possible, with Retirement Lifestyle Coaching on your team.

About Bob Foley

Bob Foley is your Retirement Lifestyle Coach and you can reach him by email at or simply by scheduling time on his calendar.

Bob FoleyBob Foley is on a mission to make sure your retirement lifestyle is designed just for you. After all, he knows how much retirement has changed in the past few decades. Because you’re not your parents, and your retirement won’t look like theirs.

You’re a dynamic and vibrant individual, and retirement isn’t about to change that!

Bob knows what it’s like to be a driven, career-minded professional who’s suddenly standing on the precipice of retirement, looking down on an unfamiliar landscape full of shadowy unknowns and big, looming question marks. » Meet Bob Foley