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There’s more to life post work than financial security, good health

Retirement coach Jon Glass will explain to a one-day event focusing on the 'golden years' why it’s important everyone finds a new meaning in life after leaving the workforce.

Jon Glass does not gild the lily. When he left full-time work in the investment industry about a decade ago and began his first tentative steps towards retirement, he was, in his own words, ‘befuddled, unsure, confused’.

Yet in three weeks (July 25) he will step on to the podium at the retirement wealth specialist financial advisory firm Wattle Partners’ event Making the most of your Golden Years to give the audience his insights on how to successfully transition to retirement.

Reflecting on that time in his life, Glass says it took quite a bit of time to work out what he was going to do next in his life. And, having discovered his ‘ikigai’ – the Japanese word meaning ‘your reason to get out of bed each day’ – he decided to it was time to change direction and help other people find their ‘ikigai’.

Glass says he always liked the idea of coaching so, after securing the necessary qualifications, his began work as a retirement coach under the banner of 64PLUS.

  • “Retiring from work can be a challenge for many people,” he says, “and very individual is different in this regard. Coaching to retirement is a service that helps him or her create new meaning to last for the long and enjoyable decades of retirement.”

    Enjoyable. It’s a word he likes to stress. The baby boomers – those born between 1946 and 1964 – now leaving their workplaces in their droves are going to be the first generation that are going to be blessed with the opportunity to have healthy and financially secure retirements, many for two or three decades.

    In Glass’s words, “retirement is an exciting time that can easily lead to a deeply satisfying life after work. But this is not well understood in our community – in many ways it’s virgin territory because this is the first generation that has been afforded this opportunity.”

    For Glass, there are three aspects to retirement – financial security, health and what he calls ‘factor X’ – the emotional aspect.

    “My focus isn’t on the medical or financial aspects of people’s retirement – I leave that to the medical practitioners and financial advisers. Certainly, in these two respects, there’s no shortage of material telling people what to do. We’re literally drowning in it.

    “My approach is different. I talk to people about their emotions and feelings. Now, some find that a bit of a turn-off, but that’s where I find I can really add value to their lives as they embark on their retirement journey.”

    What must be remembered is that when people retire, they essentially start afresh – they are walking away from what they know, what gave them a sense of meaning, into the unknown.

    As Glass explains, ‘this loss of this purpose can be a bewildering and unexpected blow: yes, they now have freedom, autonomy and flexibility – but there is, for many people, a hole in their lives. My role is to help them fill this hole.”

    Aside from Glass and retirement educator Bec Wilson, who will discuss How to have an epic retirement, there will be sessions on investment, asset allocation, and an interview with Besa Dunn, chief economist at Westpac at this one-day event being held at Sydney’s Royal Randwick Racecourse. To register click here

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