In this changing and challenging economy, many people have had to confront the fact that the traditional “model” of retirement has changed. Many people had planned to retire with a nest egg only to see it substantially reduced. The typical response we see when asked when they are going to retire is, ‘I don’t know…my ideas about retirement have changed because I don’t have as much as I thought I would need by this time’. I am going to suggest that the traditional paradigm of retirement has changed, and the days when you worked for the same company for 30 years and then got the gold watch are gone forever. People are being laid off and the pool of talented resources out there is quite large. So what are we to do?

Maybe it’s time to revisit the traditional paradigm. ‘If it ain’t broke, break it’ may be the new paradigm. Would it really be so bad to do something that you love so much that you enjoyed going to work every day? To truly be an inspiration in anything you do so that others are moved by it? I think that for many people today, retirement means working at something you love (or at least enjoy a lot), making the same or better money and working less hours, so you can enjoy the things in life that make a difference. No one says on their deathbed, I wish I could have spent another hour working. But…what if you really made a difference in the world….in other people’s lives?

Many people are looking at their work as just that….work. Suppose it was not a job but something you really enjoyed and got enthused about? And not just got enthused about, but others got excited about it because you were! That would truly be a miraculous thing. People who have worked their entire lives have great life experiences that could be transformed into many different areas. Instead of looking at “retirement” as the end of a career, why not look at it as the opportunity to invent the possibility of a new career?