My Experience of being Semi-Retired and Retirement Coaching

You could say I retired from my proper job 16 years ago, I have been a director of a consultancy, NED and began running my own coaching and supervision business, have also just become a Trustee of an Employee Ownership Trust and now feel confident enough to call myself semi-retired. I do other things as well, on a voluntary basis, which keeps me fully employed 4 days a week (though not full days!)

What does retirement mean these days? There is no official to retire date and whatever stage of life you are in, a sense of purpose is necessary for most, otherwise there is a danger of fading away. I don’t need to be doing what I do now. I enjoy it and as well as earning some money, I interact with lots of different people, sectors and ages which means I learn more everyday and hopefully give benefit to others.

As far as retirement coaching is concerned, I delved into this subject whilst my wife was considering retirement (I did not attempt to coach her!). In the last 3 years, I have had a few clients but not as many as I thought, for what is probably the biggest decision anybody makes in their life.

Do those retirement workshops still take place in larger companies, similar to redundancy programmes when the individual might not be ready for them?

So where do men in particular go wrong in getting ready for retirement? (Women generally plan a lot better than men and often have social circle already in place)

  • Lack of planning
  • Very little discussion with their partner (note the high divorce rate for couples in their 60s)
  • Lack of status
  • Lack of hobbies 

Too many fall into retirement, and then take 2 years to work it all out for themselves.

When should someone start planning for retirement?

Probably 2 or 3 years before

  • What do they think they will do in retirement?
  • What is the likely cost of their new lifestyle and how much pension etc do they need?
  • How can they ease out of their senior position without being forced to go too early?
  • What are the things they have missed out on in their strenuous career, what are they going to experiment in?
  • Do they feel comfortable with the timescales, finances and lifestyle terms they are likely to have?
  • Talking to their partner

How does my coaching make it easier for people to retire?

  • A sounding board, somebody independent to get help extract their thoughts 
  • A flexible approach as everybody is different and wants to do things when they are ready
  • I let them have a retirement questionnaire which helps them to look at different aspects
  • The questionnaire helps their thought process before meeting me either personally or virtually
  • I then go through a retirement wheel with them focusing on their main eight areas going forward in retirement
  • The second session is to put together a flexible retirement action plan

So, in summary the more senior you are, the more you need to plan things out. Prioritisation of what to do first, what do I really want to do is vital. If you have your first session a couple of years before your impending retirement, you can ease into it and not get nervous about it. At this stage detail is not necessary, but having some ideas, are beneficial. Taking your time on what you take on is also important. If you want to ensure you don’t fall into any of the above traps, contact

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