retirement planning

When Do You Retire?


Since I’ve become so interested in The Next Stage, or the Third Stage, or what most call Retirement, friends and colleagues have begun sending me their thoughts, including the thoughts of their friends and colleagues. So the conversation is beginning to spread.

I want to share with you one of the most moving statements sent to me recently:

I was thinking about what I want when I finish working and retire and this is the list I made for myself:

1. Financial security

2. Wake every day with a purpose

3. Engage in meaningful work that helps my community

4. Be in good health

5. Have time for and enjoy family and friends

6. Do more of the things I love

And I suddenly realized I could retire today! As long as I have a job, I am financially secure. I wake every day with a sense of purpose and engage in meaningful work because I am privileged to work in a nonprofit that helps women and families escape domestic violence and family homelessness. I am fortunate to be in good health and have time for family and friends. While I do things I love, I recognize that I want to do more of the things I love so I started a list and consciously look for opportunities. And then it hit me: Retirement is a state of mind! So, I retired that day.


What a fantastic view of her life! And what a wonderful way to be mindful about her values and what’s most important to her. Why wait, indeed? If it’s a state of mind, she can have that today!

I’m so excited about that! It moves us so much closer to the goal of living mindfully and being conscious of the choices we can make. I was taught long ago that in the face of extreme stress, Step 1 is to identify what you can control and focus on that. One thing I’m doing to begin to plan and prepare for that stage is to create a community of others at the same stage – to brainstorm, cheer each other on, challenge each other’s assumptions, and provide a place to explore possibilities

What would you most want to have today? What do you want when you retire? And what could you do to bring more of that into your life RIGHT NOW? I’d love to hear your thoughts and expand the conversation. Feel free to add your comments.



This blog is about the many things that are important to me. I hope they will resonate with you as well. My dream is for it to be a conversation, with comments and additions by all of you who read what I – and my guests – write. I hope you will feel free to share your wisdom. I’m looking forward to the conversation.

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