Is it possible to suddenly step away from a high-powered job and into a life of leisure? This may not be the best idea for your retirement if you work at the executive level.

In this episode of Retirement Starts Today, we’ll explore an article from Harvard Business Review that outlines several pitfalls that could come with retiring from a high-powered job and insights on how to navigate them.

Stick around for the listener question segment to hear the best ways to give money to your adult children while you are still living rather than waiting until you pass away to leave an inheritance.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:42] Advice for a CEO about to retire
  • [3:36] Areas to think about when making the retirement transition
  • [12:54] Advice on giving money to adult children while you’re still living

7 hidden traps of an executive retirement

If you work at the executive level, letting go of your career could pose some challenges. Chances are you may have been so busy working that you may not have even thought about what it is you’ll do once you actually retire. However, it’s not too late to begin planning. When you do, look out for these drawbacks and use the suggestions to improve your chances of having a satisfying and fulfilling retirement.

  1. Executives may struggle to envision their lives beyond their careers which can hinder their ability to plan for retirement. Rather than reflecting on your past or current life to plan ahead, consider your future self.
  2. Too many options can be overwhelming and lead to analysis paralysis. Decision fatigue is real. A successful retirement transition means redefining your identity, purpose, and mission. Then use these as criteria to filter your options.
  3. Don’t try to rely on your old network for retirement friendships. Building a new network based on your hobbies and goals is essential to setting yourself up for success. How can you engage and build new communities around your interests?
  4. Delayed retirement planning can lead to less desirable outcomes. Many executives fail to plan for retirement, leading to uncertainty and anxiety. Starting the planning process early can smooth the transition.
  5. The decisive behaviors that helped build your career as an executive may work against you in retirement. The abrupt change to a quieter life can be jarring. Try making small, exploratory commitments to discover what fulfills you.
  6. Narrowly focusing on traditional retirement options limits your ability to maximize fulfillment. Sticking to familiar paths like corporate boards can be unsatisfying. Instead, try exploring less common paths and embracing diverse activities.
  7. Waiting for the phone to ring can rob you of the most fulfilling opportunities. Executives should seek out opportunities proactively rather than waiting for them to arise.

Today’s retirement isn’t about suddenly stopping work. It’s about continuing to work in a more fulfilling, flexible, and balanced way. Avoiding these traps can ensure a more satisfying and enjoyable retirement.

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