Among those in the Baby Boomer generation now winding down careers, many are eagerly anticipating retirement. But for others, the prospect of being free to do just as they choose is cause for anxiety. How will they fill all that time on their hands? Joan Tabb’s new book, Building Blocks for the New Retirement: An Easy, Interactive 8-Step Guide for a Retirement with Meaning, can help.
The book offers those in the anxiety-ridden group a method of creating an action plan for an intentional and meaningful retirement — she calls it “revitalment” — based on personalities, passions and talents. Structured like a workbook, the book presents a step-by-step guide to a customized design for the years ahead.
Because we live longer, healthier lives than ever before, today’s retirees still have plenty of vitality to offer. Leaving gainful employment doesn’t mean they recede into the background of society, but instead, they can harvest their lessons learned and experiences gained to contribute in new ways. But if the possibilities seem too open or the opportunities too endless, Tabb poses questions aimed at answering the big question: How do you best fill the gift of time?
In the new retirement, she points out, people can finally operate from their essential selves. They can cast aside all the demands of living an “outside-in” existence, and re-ignite their true natures by taking an “inside-out” perspective. This means asking themselves who they truly are and what they truly enjoy, then reconnecting with and further developing their inner gifts.
Shaping themselves from the inside out can also mean focusing on their physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Having time for a regular exercise regimen means people can finally get rid of that extra 30 pounds they’ve been meaning to lose. Some are ready to deal with areas where they’ve felt stuck or trapped — facing fears, grappling with grief or restoring relationships. And, some delve more deeply into their spiritual side and the concept of just being.
Tabb intersperses interviews that she conducted for the book with some 100 people who are planning or are engaged in retirement. Many exemplify what it means to blend the skills acquired from decades-long careers with the activities they most enjoy. For example, a book lover who veered into an engineering career opened a bookstore after retirement; a physician went back to work part time at a ski clinic; and a teacher became a consultant helping to mentor new teachers. Still others chose activities that were beyond the familiar — learning a new language, volunteering in a new community or taking up a new hobby.
Building Blocks for the New Retirement guides readers in imagining a full and rich life ahead. By offering questions to respond to after each chapter, resources to tap in pursuing any type of direction, and a template for devising their own action plan, those on the brink of retirement will be poised to embrace their fourth and final stage of life with purpose and excitement. They will have taken the time to decide what kind of legacy they’d like to leave, and then set out to create it.
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