Transforming Your Retirement: Keep Learning!

One of the important keys to transforming your retirement to a time of joy and fulfillment is to continue learning new things. Since I am building my online business, I am learning new tech things all of the time.

Infographics are a great tool to summarize or provide an overview of information, and especially appeal to people who are more visually oriented.

Today I put together my first infographic – the 10 Questions to Ask Yourself That Can Transform Your Retirement by opening up many possibilities.

Each of these has a blog post: click on that category in the category listing in the right sidebar.

Here’s to new tools and skills!!

Transforming Your Retirement: What if You Generated Any Needed Income in Creative, Fun, Fulfilling Ways?

It is very possible that a significant number of baby boomer retirees will need to generate additional income during retirement. As the economy has had ups and downs, savings, investments and pensions have been affected. Companies have even reneged on promised pensions and paid health to retirees. Others were already low on savings and had inadequate pensions.

Transforming your retirement may include some income-generating activity so that you can afford to do the things you most want to do. One of the most important mindset issues is to replace concern, fear and worry with positive expectation and belief that there are many more ways to earn income than we realize.

Part time jobs fit some people’s needs; independent work rather than an hourly job will be appealing to many of you. You can be a consultant, a virtual assistant, a writer, or have your own business – online or offline, brick and mortar or virtual, free standing or direct sales through network marketing, to name a few options.

Once you have expanded your horizons about what the range of possibilities are, the challenge is to determine the best match for you. Let’s examine some possibilities.

Using your knowledge and skills to earn money

Grab your handy notebook or computer file and do the following:
Make a chart (if doing by hand) or spreadsheet (on computer) that has the following cells listed vertically in the left column:

1) Knowledge & skills acquired through your employment
2) Knowledge & skills you’ve acquired through hobbies
3) Knowledge & skills acquired through volunteer involvement and community participation
4) Knowledge & skills you’d like to acquire in areas of your interest and then share with others

Then put the following horizontally across the top of the chart or spreadsheet:

1) Ways that you could share this information (for example, teach community education classes; write books or ebooks; provide workshops, teleclasses, webinars; be a consultant; etc.)
2) Places, venues or contacts that may provide places for you to do this and earn money (for example, specific community colleges in your area, your city school district community education, your church or other churches, online publishing, online radio or podcasts, etc.)

Start with what you can think of right now and continue to fill it in and expand it as you explore more possibilities. This chart or spreadsheet can be a resource and inspiration for you for a long time.

Virtual Work

Another way to use your skills is to provide products and services from your computer that others need. You can work at home or practically anywhere you can access high speed internet. There are thousands of Virtual Administrative Assistants who provide administrative support for solo entrepreneurs and small businesses, including website construction and maintenance, online marketing and more. These can be long or short term jobs. I did support work for the church I worked for in Minnesota for a year and a half after I moved to California: newsletters, bulletins, board meeting minutes and PowerPoint presentations. There are a number of websites where you can learn more about this type of work. Search for “virtual assistant.”

Direct Sales/Network Marketing

Direct selling through network marketing has become a recognized business model that is used by many large corporations and endorsed by financial experts. It is a viable option for many people in this economy and well worth exploring.

There are hundreds of network marketing company options and it can be very difficult to decide which company to choose. One resource to assist you with this is:
http://entrepreneurs.about.com/od/networkmarketingmlm/a/10tipstopicknwm.htm

Affiliate Sales Online

Affiliate Sales basically means selling other people’s products. You can sign up for many affiliate programs, free of charge, and earn a commission for selling products that are made available through that affiliate program. This is a well-established way of earning money and you can do it in areas that are of particular interest to you. You can be an affiliate for companies that sell “hard” products – books, appliances, tools, jewelry, etc. – or information products online. There is a huge amount of information available to help you get started and be effective. You can begin with Amazon.com Associate Program. The commissions are low, but the wide range of products makes it very attractive. They provide lots of affiliate resources also.

These are some of the possible ways you can generate money to augment your income as you are transforming your retirement. As you begin your exploration, start by looking at what you enjoy doing.

Transforming Your Retirement: Mining the Gold In Your Life

Often in the rush of life we lose track of our accomplishments and some of our strengths. As we close out our career or employment life, it can be very helpful to reflect upon and celebrate some of the unique milestones, achievements, and strengths that have brought us to where we are today. This reflection can be a way to take inventory of what we carry into the new future we are designing for ourselves as we move into this next phase of life.  Transforming your retirement gets a jumpstart when you begin from a place of confidence and celebration.

First, celebrate accomplishments. Include job or career success and advancements, family joys, particular skills you have developed, contributions you have made to your community and beyond. Write a list of those accomplishments, read it, add more things that you think of and allow yourself to celebrate and appreciate.

Now let’s dig a little deeper to find and identify those threads of gold that run through your life. You will be looking for attitudes, skills and qualities that were demonstrated in some of your experiences. These are ‘gold’ that you bring into your next phase of life and cause for celebration as you are transforming your retirement. Here are three areas to look at; you may think of others as you do this.

1) Surviving hard times – Look at each period of your life – childhood, teen years and adulthood divided into 10 year segments up to the present. Identify hard times/challenges during each period. For each challenge you identify, think about the attitudes, skills, and qualities came into play as you went through that period.

2) Contributing to others, to your community and beyond – Look at the ways in which you have contributed through the years and again identify the attitudes, skills and qualities contributed to these accomplishments.

3) Having the courage to follow our highest aspirations/your “true” self, your heart. Usually these are significant turning points in our life history, so approach it chronologically by time periods in your life to identify them. You might call these your “courage mileposts”. It can be very enlightening to explore these times – what made you aware of that calling or aspiration, what conflicts arose when you moved in the new direction and how you resolved them, and what you learned by having the courage to follow your heart.

These strands of gold are precious elements that can help you move through the transitions of retirement and beyond. If you mine them and use them, you can enhance your coming years immensely as you are transforming your retirement.