If you're excited about the prospect of having few responsibilities or to-dos, then Jon warns you're probably going to feel a little lost. "Retirement is best thought of as crossing a bridge from work to retirement. You have to be thinking about, 'What am I crossing the bridge to?'" he says. "I work with clients to strengthen their sense of meaning and purpose so they can cross that bridge to what they truly want to be."
Whether you take pen to paper or go for a long nature walk, dedicating some time to deep thinking could help you get clarity about how you want to fill your retirement. "Retirement can be 10,000 days, which is a lot of days to be just turning on the TV," Jon points out. "When you are at a dinner party and someone says, 'What have you been up to lately?' you want a good answer to that, rather than, 'I watched some Netflix!'"
Whether you spent your younger years building your career or caring for a family, retirement can be the catalyst for an identity rethink. "When you were working, you probably had an identity, whether it was a fancy title on a business card or [through] your crisply ironed uniform," says Jon. "The essence of a good retirement is finding your meaning and purpose – it could be family, giving back to the community or learning new things. Once you [identify] that, you can start to build your activities around that."
Once your retirement kicks off, check in with yourself regularly to confirm you're still feeling fulfilled. "Evolve, learn, change and be flexible because what works for you this year might change," Jon points out. "Retirement should be a sequence of experiments."