After more than four decades in the banking world, I leaped into semi-retirement, bidding farewell to the relentless sound of the alarm clock and embracing a life centered around passion, purpose, and self-discovery. The term "retirement" doesn't quite capture the essence of my situation; it's more of a transformative transition into a lifestyle where intentionally spending time on things that matter most, advocating for children's causes, and inspiring young, emerging leaders take center stage.
In this reflective blog post, I'm happy to share the valuable lessons that have shaped my journey over the past two years:
1. Freedom from the Alarm Clock
Let's be honest; who doesn't revel in the liberation from the daily grind of early wake-up calls? The absence of an alarm clock has become a symbol of the newfound freedom that my new chapter affords. I love the stillness of the morning so most days I'm up by 6:00 enjoying my coffee and preparing to take on another beautiful day!
2. Self-Care is the Ultimate Priority
As the routine of commuting and corporate events fades away and it becomes difficult to get the steps in, self-care takes the spotlight. Prioritizing mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health has become my daily mantra, ensuring a harmonized and fulfilling life. It doesn't take long to discover that this becomes non-negotiable, especially as we get older.
3. Schedule Priorities
Without the structure of an 8-to-6 (haha) routine, I've learned to keep my calendar updated and prioritize activities that bring true meaning to my life. Intentional scheduling prevents the risk of drifting through days without purpose.
I have a goal to make one of these ornaments each week this year - giving me motivation to spend more time creating in 2024, and a stash for my giving list!
4. Strong Social Circles
The power of relationships formed through boards, groups, and organizations cannot be overstated. These connections have provided social stability and support during the sometimes challenging transition into semi-retirement. Like many before me, I found this to be the most challenging adjustment of all. Despite a well-designed 3-year plan to leave my career, there was still a sense of loss, as the social circles I was once a part of slowly drifted away. I am grateful for the circles I built beyond work, that helped carry me through the transition.
5. Nurture Passions and Hobbies Throughout Life
Exploring and nurturing passions during a career can lead to unexpected callings. Leveraging skills and talents acquired over the years has allowed for a seamless transition into a purpose-driven post-career life. It is where I discovered my gift of coaching, teaching, and guiding and what led to me creating a business that allows me to use my gifts to help others.
6. Supporting a Cause Wholeheartedly
Advocating for a cause close to your heart – in my case, children's causes through St. Luke's and the Idaho Youth Ranch, working with young leaders through my community network, and partnerships with Boise State University and CSI - deepens the connection to the community. Finding and supporting a cause enhances community engagement and provides a sense of purpose.
7. Paying It Forward
Maya Angelou's timeless wisdom guides my actions: "When you learn, teach. When you get, give." Paying it forward has been a cornerstone of my life, creating a positive cycle of growth and support.
8. Don't Underestimate the Power of a Simple Budget
Blessed by a serendipitous banking career, I learned responsible money management at a young age, paying attention to the mistakes and bad money decisions of some, and spending equal time studying the behaviors of those who were financially stable. This on-the-job training inspired me to create a simple personal budget to track my finances. The process taught me discipline, motivated me to fund my retirement account faster, and enabled me to leave a demanding career 5 years earlier than I had originally planned! It is a simple approach to budgeting and the same system I use today to manage my family's more complex budget. In reflection, I realize that this was one of the greatest gifts of my career, and I am grateful I was led to banking at such a young age!
In embracing semi-retirement, I've discovered a wealth of lessons that extend beyond the financial aspects. It's a journey of self-discovery, purposeful living, and giving back more to this world than I take.
I hope these reflections inspire others to contemplate a similar path, guiding them toward a fulfilling and purpose-driven next chapter in life!
Take time to reflect early in this New Year. What can you accomplish in 2024?
To pay it forward and teach my simple techniques for personal money management, I have created a FREE 3-Part Series on Financial Foundations - Understanding Basic Personal Budgeting.
Each monthly series will include a 90-minute session to review the topic and a 1-hour Question & Answer follow-up and coaching session.
1) March - Taking Inventory - Where are you now?
2) April - Basic Budgeting - Creating a Simple Budget
3) May - Monthly Maintenance - Bank reconciliation/managing your budget
If you, or anyone you know has a desire to develop strong money habits, I invite you to join us by signing up below! No shame, no guilt, just freedom from money worries, and step-by-step guidance and support as you finally take control of your financial future!
Get started by joining us for the FREE Financial Foundations Workshop!