Preparing Others for Your Retirement

Dylan and Marsha are super excited about their retirement. After decades in education, they saved and invested and are excited about leaving their careers to start a new life. The two developed travel plans to visit multiple countries across the world. The next year is filled with new experiences, away from home.

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However, to their surprise, many of their friends and family were not happy about their change in lifestyle. Some were downright angry. Marsha and Dylan had not counted on the emotional impact their absence would have on those around them. Now, before you get angry and their friends and family, think about the impact you would have on those around you if you announced to everyone that in a few weeks you were going to be gone for extended periods of time.

As you consider your own retirement lifestyle plans, have fun and be creative. However, include in your strategy to involve those closest around you, to prepare them as you also prepare for your new life.

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Social Network Audit Form

You will see a decline in your social interactions when you retire. The Social Network Audit is a quick way for you to understand the number of relationships you have now, and the ones you will want to invest time in post career to maintain, nurture, and grow.

Recognize Your Impact

Recognize that people will be adjusting to your retirement, and it may take time for some individuals. Be patient and understanding as friends and family adapt to the new dynamic. Dylan and Marsha are a big and deep part in the lives of many. Having them gone so much almost felt like losing friends.

Open Up the Dialog

Initiate conversations about your retirement plans well in advance. Openly discuss your reasons for retiring, your goals, and your anticipated lifestyle changes. This transparency can help loved ones understand and adjust to the idea gradually. Marsha and Dylan did not intend to keep their plans secret, they just didn’t think it would create such a fuss

Share the Timeline

Provide a clear timeline of your retirement plans, including the expected retirement date, any relocation plans, and any significant changes in their routine or availability. This helps loved ones mentally prepare for the upcoming changes. Dylan and Marsha spent a lot of their time justifying why they had chosen this path and were a little frustrated that some people were not initially happy for them.

Seek Feedback

Involve friends and family in the planning process, if appropriate. Seek their input and feedback on potential retirement activities, living arrangements, or travel plans. This inclusive approach can help them feel valued and connected. Dylan and Marsha knew what they wanted and were focused on a plan. Unlike them, if you are not sure about post-career life, draw on your circle of friends.

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Demonstrate Continuity

Set realistic expectations for your availability and responsiveness after retirement. Explain that while you may have more flexibility, you still need personal time and space to adjust to your new lifestyle. Marsha and Dylan will still be available and want to be a part of the lives of friends and family. There are still aspects of their life that deeply involve family and friends.

Understand Emotions

Reassure loved ones that retirement does not signify the end of your relationship or involvement in each other’s lives. Affirm your commitment to maintaining strong connections, even as your circumstances change. Upon reflection, Dylan and Marsha were deeply touched by the outpouring of emotions their change in life meant for others.

The Power of Social Connection

Marsha and Dylan are a couple who have a lot of positive impact on others around them. Their retirement change meant a change in the lives of friends and family. While they will work to make new friends, their social network will decrease over time.

They didn’t lose any friends or have any family to disown them. They learned their lives mean a lot to others, which helped them understand the importance of maintaining and enhancing those relationships, even while they enjoy their new life.

David Buck is the author of the book The Time-Optimized Life, owner of Kairos Management Solutions, LLC, and founder of the Infinity Lifestyle Design program. As a Certified Professional Retirement Coach (CPRC), David works with financial services providers helping their clients create a post-career lifestyle strategy. To learn more, contact him at or visit Infinity Lifestyle Design.