Retire with a Mission: Planning and Purpose for the Second Half of Life



Retirement is not an ending: It's the beginning of an entirely new phase of life, one that requires new activities, renewed relationships, and, most important, a way to find value and worth without going to work every day. Saving tons of money does not guarantee a happy retirement - you also need to know how you want to live the rest of your life. Writing a mission statement can help you...

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Retirement is not an ending: It's the beginning of an entirely new phase of life, one that requires new activities, renewed relationships, and, most important, a way to find value and worth without going to work every day. Saving tons of money does not guarantee a happy retirement - you also need to know how you want to live the rest of your life. Writing a mission statement can help you craft an action plan for spending your time and money in the most fulfilling and joyful ways possible.

Retire with a Mission guides you through writing your mission statement and provides creative ideas and comprehensive information on:

  • Fixed finances and maintaining a certain standard of living
  • Volunteering, mentoring, and consulting opportunities
  • Using computers to stay in touch
  • Traveling
  • Enhancing family life
  • Staying healthy and happy
  • Estate planning and preparation

With a lifetime of experience to draw from, a mission statement can be the unifier that brings together your identity, life's purpose, vision for the future, and the core values by which you plan to live the rest of your life.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402214745
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks
  • Publication date: 12/1/2008
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,213,172
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard G. Wendel, MD, MBA, is a graduate of Dartmouth College, the University of Cincinnati Medical School, and the Williams College of Business at Xavier University. He retired in 1997 after thirty-one years practicing medicine.

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Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from Chapter 1: Creating the Foundation for a Smooth Transition

Conversations between people approaching retirement often follow along these lines: "I'm not sure what I'll do when I retire, and I'm too busy now to even think about it." Paying your children's college tuition, home mortgages, catastrophic medical expenses, and other obligations may push any thought of retirement far into the future. Other people procrastinate because they think they have too few outside interests such as athletics, travel, and hobbies to keep themselves occupied. Some have an addiction to the work routine or a stressful home environment that keeps them from calling it quits so they can still get out of the house every day. And some have the need to retain the power and discretionary spending that gainful employment provides. Thus, plans for retirement often remain vague and only marginally thought out. This lack of planning might catch you off guard if you're forced to retire due to an unanticipated career interruption such as failing health, business failures, enterprise downsizing, layoffs due to outsourcing and mergers, and so on.

With so many variables it is not surprising that most people stumble into retirement with little or no forethought. But planning for retirement is very worthwhile. The earlier you start, the greater the chances are of finding out what makes you genuinely happy,
and creating the infrastructure and environment to pursue your own special Camelot for the retirement years.

Expectations vs. Reality

High Expectations
To some, the word retirement conjures up an image of wide-open pastures with cows grazing on lush grass under a sunny sky. Some people think of retirement as a one-way ticket to utopia, an immediate relief from onerous work and stressful demands. Still others may characterize retirement as a return to a carefree childhood or, perhaps, expect the exhilaration of finishing a marathon, reaching the peak of the mountain, or receiving the trophy for winning the tournament. For a CEO, it might be akin to being kicked upstairs to the position as chairman of the board.

Retirement comes with high expectations. Indeed retirement offers many immediate pleasures. Who can object to a flexible schedule with no deadlines and uncluttered time? Or relief from supervision and reporting to your superiors at the firm? And every day is a holiday?

The Reality
Each of us brings a complete set of circumstances to the threshold of retirement. Our personalities don't dramatically change, the family does not suddenly come together, your golf handicap probably won't change, and personal assets will not increase unless you have a golden parachute, stock options, or deferred compensation from your place of employment. What retirement does do is give you a "time out" in which to reinvent yourself. Remember that retirement has no standard rulebook to follow; you must create your own blueprint or roadmap. It is not surprising that this momentous change in orientation from the routines of work to the amorphous luxury of self-direction can be disconcerting. With ambiguity always comes some measure of ambivalence.

In reality, the early years of retirement are often a turbulent stretch in life's journey. Perhaps more than any other period in life, this milestone pushes your envelope of social change and personal adjustment. Your schedule of daily activities is scrambled. New roles and relationships alter the landscape and muddy the comfort zone of familiarity. The changing of the guard often carries with it the message of "you are a has-been" that may threaten your identity and feelings of self-esteem. Plus, the retirement years coincide with the downward slope of mental and physical capabilities. And this challenge must be coupled with the residual feelings of loss from leaving your friends at the workplace behind, surrendering your position to someone new (and likely, younger), and losing your paycheck.

The emotional adjustment to retirement takes time, and each retiree settles in at a different rate. On average, several years are required to achieve a satisfactory new equilibrium and comfort level. You must be patient during this natural transition period and give yourself the slack to flounder and backslide from time to time.

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Table of Contents


Section I: Preparation

Chapter 1
Creating the Foundation for a Smooth Transition

Chapter 2
Writing Your Personal Mission Statement

Chapter 3
Building on Past Pleasures

Chapter 4
Life Inventories

Section II: Navigating the Emotional Transition

Chapter 5
A Psychological Perspective

Chapter 6
Sexual Intimacy

Chapter 7
Spending Some Time Alone

Section III: Family

Chapter 8
Drawing on Family Support

Chapter 9
The Family Tree

Chapter 10
The Messengers in Children's Clothing: Carefree Fun

Chapter 11
Recounting the Tale

Chapter 12
The Skinny on Estate Planning
By Lewis Gatch, Attorney-at-Law

Section IV: Safeguard Your Retirement Money

Chapter 13
Personal Finances: A Realistic Approach

Chapter 14
The New Economy

Chapter 15
Managing Your Investments

Chapter 16
Enlisting the Help of Money Managers

Chapter 17
Personal Equity Management

Section V: Managing Every Day Dollars and Possessions

Chapter 18
The Art and Science of Buying and Selling

Chapter 19
A Smooth Inheritance Distribution

Section VI: Medical Advancements and Retirement

Chapter 20
Biomedical Discoveries

Chapter 21
Retirement: The Longest of Life's Chapters?

Section VII: Some Great New Activities for Retirement

Chapter 22
Computers and the Internet

Chapter 23

Chapter 24
Working in Retirement

Appendix A: Readings on Human Sexuality
Appendix B: A Bibliography for Smart Investing
About the Author

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