Posts Tagged ‘retirement’

Top tips when facing redundancy

Dec 17 2013

The Christmas period, coincides with the end of the budget year for many companies.  It is therefore sadly also a peak time for redundancies with many staff being told not to come back after their Christmas holiday.  If you, or someone you know is facing Christmas with the prospect of looking for a new job in the New Year, then you may find these tips from Personal Career Management, one of the UK’s leading career coaching companies, to be useful. 

  • Relax – set time aside for rest and fun. Take some time to chill out without thinking about job-searching. No-one recruits over the Christmas period anyway so you can legitimately take some time off to relax and de-stress.
  • Use the time to reflect – away from all of the hustle of work, it’s a good time to think about what it is you really want from your career and your next role
  • Write a list all your skills and achievements – Redundancy can be a time of mixed emotions and the feeling of uncertainty about the future can affect your confidence. Sit down and write a list of all the positive things you have to offer an employer. You can use this as preparation for your CV and interview – and it will also give you a boost.
  • Update your CV – start getting your CV up to date and target it toward your next role. There is guidance on CV writing available on the internet or buy a book for more in-depth guidance and sample CVs . Ask other people for their comments on your CV to ensure that it is providing the information needed and reflecting the image you want to portray.
  • Network – Christmas is a great time to network and to catch up with people you have not spoken to for a while. Make a point of attending social functions, either corporate or personal. Use these as an opportunity to also talk to new people finding out about them. You may find that they can be of help to you with contacts or information about companies who may be hiring. Get some business cards printed with your contact details so you can give these out at parties to people. Ensure all your friends and business contacts get a Christmas card or Christmas e mail suggesting that you meet up in the New Year.
  • Exercise – this is the best way to work off any stress. There will be some good introductory offers at gyms but it could be a regular brisk walk in the local park or even sledging with the kids!
  • Plan your finances – set a budget for Christmas and try to stick to it. Work out your current financial situation and a realistic budget for the coming months. This will help you feel more in control – rather than worrying without knowing the true picture.
  • Make the most of the sales – it may seem a strange time to be spending but a new suit will look 10 times better at interview than the old one dry cleaned and there will be some bargains in the sales – a new suit, shirt and pair of shoes should be on your list
  • Consider getting professional career support – even in the most buoyant of job markets, it can come as a surprise to find just how demanding job searching can be. Working with a career coach from a reputable career management company can give you a huge headstart over the competition in the New Year.
  • Spend quality time with family and friends – Looking for your next job can be demanding emotionally and you will need the support of loved ones, who themselves may be feeling anxious about your situation. An honest discussion about how you can support each other will stand you in good stead for the potential challenges ahead.

Retirement ‘Living’, not just Planning!

Dec 17 2013

With all the talk—and concern—about dwindling retirement funds and our shaky economy, many retirees and soon-to-be-retired boomers are concerned about the financial aspects of retirement planning. But what about retirement living?

In other words, what would you like to do with the rest of your life?

Financial issues aside, there’s a lot you can do to make retirement living a great time of life.

“When I was younger, I thought retirement living would be boring,” says John Handler, 76, of Seattle. “But I’m taking a watercolor class, meeting new people, and I have a part-time job I like. My days have a variety I never had before.”

Here are a few retirement living tips, from suggestions by Joan Carter, cofounder of Life Options Institute. As you read these tips, think about how they apply to your life. 

    1. Retirement living is about more than money.Financial planners tell us to start thinking about retirement living decades before we’re ready to retire, and it’s good to make a retirement planning checklist about five years before your retirement date.

      While you’re thinking about how much money you’ll need in retirement, think about what you want your life to look like, and how you want to feel. 

    1. Make life plans. It’s important to plan for the non-financial aspect of retirement living by considering what will make you happy. Maybe you’ll climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, go dog sledding in Alaska, make time to write that novel you’ve been thinking about, or even continue to work part-time. Make a life plan and tick off your experiences as you move ahead. (And no, I’m not talking about a “Bucket List!”) 
    1. Find a purpose. When making your retirement living plan, look for things you can do on an ongoing basis that bring you joy and add structure to your life. This can include travel, hobbies or even training for a new career. 
    1. Keep your mind sharp. “Use it or lose it” applies to your brain. If you feel the need to replace the intellectual stimulation you found at work, try learning a foreign language or a musical instrument, or join a book club. Lifelong learning offers many opportunities to keep your mind sharp. How about checking out the lifelong learning classes offered by your local community center or college? 
    1. Volunteer. Getting involved in your community is a great way to give back, and it’s a wonderful opportunity to interact with people and make new friends. Senior Corps offers volunteer opportunities tailored for older adults. 
    1. Develop new friendships. A measurement of whether people are successful at retirement living is the strength of their social network—that includes family and friends. Check out groups that help you meet new people or join community or religious organizations that have members who share your interests. It’s possible to meet people and make new friends even if it’s difficult to get around.

      Did you know that friendship helps to increase longevity

    1. Ask your spouse or partner. If you live with someone or have a close partner, retirement living becomes a shared experience. It’s important to make time for you and your partner to both share your dreams—you might be pleasantly surprised to learn that your partner wants to join you on that Mt. Kilimanjaro climb, and he or she may have ideas you’ll enjoy. 
    1. Increase your financial stability. If you can’t afford to retire yet, what about partial retirement? This can include working part-time in your current job or finding a retirement job that’s new and interesting—and will also help you earn money. 
    1. Keep your spirits up. The life changes that come with retirement living can be challenging, but your attitude plays a big part in whether you’ll find happiness in retirement living or not. Check in with yourself to assess your mood; if you feel sad or hopeless it’s important to see your doctor or a professional counselor. Learn the signs ofand senior depression (or ask a friend or family member to assess your mood) and don’t be afraid to ask for help. 
    1. Remain healthy. Carter brought up an old adage: A lean horse for a long race. With increasing life spans, retirement living can be a long race, so get yourself in shape. That means eating well, watching your weight and staying active. When you feel good, it’s easier to stay positive and open to new experiences.

Handler, who retired at 66, says he’s looking forward to his next decade of retirement living. “I wake up every morning and wonder what I’ll learn today.”

Elderhood in Action!

Jan 09 2013

The Men Beyond 50 project champions ‘Giving Back’ and ‘Speaking Out’ by older men. Learning from elders (men and women ebbs together) is one of the main ways this can happen and here is one of the most inspiring and practical projects we have seen:

                                                                   The Amazings !

The Amazings project offers “classes, course and wisdom from elders with amazing lifetime experience”.

The website is beautifully put together and features course programmes (from 4-10 sessions) given by about 40 different older men and women in the London area. Some of the courses are activities, some are about passing on skills and stories to inspire others, the main areas being Art, DIY, Craft, Health, Music, Activities, Culture.  It also has short videos showcasing all the elders and profile pages so we can get a good idea what is involved before deciding to sign up. There is a feedback ‘Wishlist’ page, and a ‘Forum’ community page.

The Amazings. Remember the name, and visit the website. We are adding it to MB50 Partners, and I am sure we will be featuring the courses and activities of the elders regularly here!