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Many folks call retirement “the golden years”. They look forward to endless leisure, tons of family time and doing the things they put off for decades. 

But many retirees find the opposite right after they retire: They feel bored. That’s natural. If you’ve been busy for all of your life, having so much free time feels weird.

You deserve better than feeling bored in your golden years. In fact, boredom can even lead to chronic disease! Luckily, you can escape boredom and fill every day with exciting activities.

In this episode, you’ll discover how to revive old hobbies and discover new passions in retirement. That way, you can leave boredom behind and fully enjoy retirement..

Listen in to make your retirement more exciting!

Show Highlights Include: 

  • How being your own boss helps you beat boredom and the chronic disease it causes (even if starting a business sounds stressful) (3:20)
  • Feeling bored after the “retirement honeymoon stage”? Here’s how to make life exciting again! (3:52)
  • The “wheel of life” exercise that lets you discover your passions and set goals in retirement. (6:50)
  • How to use the “week in retirement planner” to fill every week with excitement and banish boredom from your life. (10:30)

Thinking about what your typical week in retirement will look like? Download our Ideal Week in Retirement planner.

Read Full Transcript

Want to finally stop working and retire in peace. It's about more than quitting work and living off your savings. In retirement reimagined, yu'll discover how to have a fulfilled retirement that lets you enjoy travel, family time and freedom. And now here are your hosts, Ron Bernstein and Nicole Sullivan.

(00:23): Hi everyone. Welcome to the retirement reimagined podcast. My name is Nicole Sullivan. I'm a financial planner and the co-founder of prism planning partners. And today I'm joined by my partner and the managing member of our firm, Ron Bernstein. Hi Ron, how are you? I'm wonderful, Nicole. Great to see you here today. Great to see you too. It's so great to be, uh, chatting on a bright sunny day here in Chicago. The weather has finally turned. Yeah, I think we're uh, yeah, I think we certainly turned a corner and well deserved one at that.

(00:57): Oh, this winter has been brutal. That's what you buy into when you live up by us. So, Amen. Yeah. And I think, you know, it's a nice dovetail to kind of talk about enjoying the fun and sun that we will be doing. I'm sure soon, which is how to beat boredom and have fun and fulfillment in retirement. This is something that's definitely easier to do when the weather is nice. I'm sure whether you're retired or not.

(01:23): And, and I gotta tip my cap to you on this one, Nicole, because, uh, you were the one who came up with this whole phrase, retired and bored, and it's actually gotten some tremendous traction out there. And just curious if we can pick your brain air for a second, how did you assume or, or bring up, you know, having retire retirement and boredom kind of in the same sentence.

(01:43): So I'm really lucky to have been working with a wonderful marketing team. Who's helping our firm with actually search engine optimization. So if you are not familiar with what that is, it's essentially, uh, looking at things that people are typing into Google and trying to really maximize your content to, you know, high on Google for certain keywords. And there's a lot of people who just go onto Google and say I'm retired and board . And so apparently that phrase was really popular. And I said, why don't we help answer that question with the blog post and people have liked it for the last couple years.

(02:19): So I think, uh, what a wonderful thing is then as an audience out here, this is a very common issue. Clearly one that is getting a lot of attention on and the search engine ops optimization as well in social media. So we're happy to bring this topic to you today. I just, I hope most people aren't retired and bored and that at least some of our insights can maybe help give you a few ideas on how to figure it out. And I think the number one thing that we wanna get across to our listeners today is that it's really important to make a plan for retirement. Obviously the financial plan is kind of the math problem that professionals can help with, but the plan for how you're gonna spend your time is really the most critical and kind of what we wanna help emphasize today.

(03:01): Maybe touching on our last, uh, subject, you know, we brought up the idea that, you know, retirements are not like what our grandparents, uh, went through where, uh, age expectancy was in single digits. Now we're talking potentially decades. So there's a lot of time to fill out there.

(03:18): There is a lot of time to fill and especially because boredom is just so toxic, it can lead to, you know, health concerns. You know, I know there's that old phrase I'm so bored. I could die. And it's while that may not necessarily be true boredom kind of over a long period of time can, can be chronic. It causes stress, depression, cardiovascular issues. So planning for kind of how you can spend your time and kind of how you can, uh, you know, you don't have a boss anymore. You can kind of quote unquote, be your own boss and have control of your own time is, is just so crucial.

(03:53): And I really believe that part of the issue is built. Just not getting your arms around expectations of what retirement really is by definition. I think a lot of folks, you know, who are out there hustling, you know, whether it be, yeah, you know, you know, busy being parents or, or, or handling careers and whatnot, um, there are just tremendous demands on your time. And now all of a sudden you're like, oh, I just wanna get relief. And, and, you know, once I get to retirement, everything will sort itself out. But the most important thing to me is just being able to unwind. But as we've discovered in time that, yes, it's wonderful to do that. And it's like an extended vacation, but at some point you gotta get back to something. And that's where we start to run into some difficulty where boredom, you know, becomes, you know, a four letter word sometimes. So you just, you gotta be on, on top of that. And I think you just have to look past that early honeymoon stage of when you enter into a retirement and really sort out, you know, how are you gonna continue on and have, uh, purpose and connections with, with folks that, uh, are still meaningful to

(04:57): You? And I think the thing that we've seen really in the first six months to a year of a retirement is that people have these long to do lists of home projects or vacations they wanna take or just bucket list items. They wanna check off and by golly, go ahead and do that. I think that's wonderful and empowering, but at some point, you know, you're gonna have a boring Tuesday afternoon, a boring Wednesday morning and no boss and no schedule. And you need to kind of create that for yourself.

(05:26): And there's a, there's a direct link as well. You know, where if you can get ahead of this, you can properly plan for it on a financial level too saying, I, I wanna be able to have that flexibility. So if something else should come up, whether it's a second career or whether they just figure out that there's some things that all of a sudden are exciting them that require some resources. And we wanna make sure that, uh, that everyone has that ability, uh, to be able to pivot and not worry that they've dug a hole for themselves and can't get out

(05:57): Right. And so I think kind of the, the way to start planning for that is by really taking an inventory of what you value the most. And you need to have a really clear idea, a clear objective in mind when you're going to retirement. Some people view retirement as running from something, running from maybe a career that they're kind of over, and we want to help you think of retirement as running towards something. And I think a big way, a big motivation to make that happen is to really just take an inventory and assessment of what's most important to you in life and what you're really hoping to get out of retirement. And that really is taking a deep dive. Like you said, to, you know, having some understanding of what your passions are and what really motivates you, uh, to get up every

(06:43): Day. And that can be a really hard question to ask of someone in their, you know, fifties or even early sixties, who's been running at a hundred miles an hour at a busy career. And so we actually have an activity that we really like to do with clients. We actually are not gonna be giving this away because it's, I think a really powerful conversation we have, but it's, I'll kind of describe it here. It's called the wheel of life. And basically what this is, we take a look at 10 different facets of life, you know, family career, you know, inner growth, learning things of that nature. And we ask clients to rate how satisfied they are in each one of those areas, kind of on a scale of one to 10. And this is in a little bit of a wheel format. And so, you know, the closer they are into the middle of the wheel, the less satisfied they are and the farther out, the more satisfied they are.

(07:29): And the goal is that we want people's wheels to roll. You know, we can do this with folks, whether they're working to kind of help achieve a little bit more ongoing life balance. But I also think by doing this activity with a pre-retiree, we can really see, Hey, you know, you are really satisfied with work or really satisfied with family, but maybe your inner growth or your learning or something like that is suffering and helps us as planners really start having those conversations around, how can we help you figure out what you're maybe weak in and you're getting better. And then obviously do any resources need to be applied to helping you achieve kind of that life balance? Yeah.

(08:06): Cuz the reality is many people just don't think of their lives in such graphical terms, right? In terms of keeping everything in balance. And this is a very powerful activity. Uh, and one that also can be done with, uh, both spouses, because you could get very differing looks here. We've had some really powerful conversations with spouses on this wheel of life. It's prompted people to make some big changes actually at certain times.

(08:33): And it's an activity we do in conjunction with more of a traditional financial plan because it does allow us to have a really wonderful feedback on where we should be allocating resources, even in a pre-retirement setting. Uh, so we are clearly getting ahead of some of the trends and we understand, you know, life is fluid and what may be of value at one given time may not look the same a year or five years down the road. That's why we tend to rinse and repeat this type of activity because, uh, things do change have been known to. So it's actually a fun way to also continue to benchmark where you stand at a given

(09:07): Point. Yeah, absolutely. We've had this conversation prompt clients to make career changes, maybe relocate, downsize, something like that. And so it's so cool to see kind of where you were 3, 4, 5 years ago compared to today after you've made the change. And yeah, it's been a cool, powerful tool with a lot of our clients.

(09:26): And one, I think for you and me in particular, we get a lot of attraction with the conversations that come out of this particular activity are really deep. It elicits a lot of emotion as well. So you gotta really go in with an open mind because it's going to really cause you to think long and hard about, you know, where you're at and where you're

(09:47): Going. Totally. So let's talk about how to tie all of this together. You know, you maybe were tuning into this episode because you wanted some specific ideas on how to spend your time in retirement. And I think kind of the crux of what we're talking about today is that it really requires some deep examination and a deep evaluation of your values and your spouse's values. However, though, for some specific activities, I'm gonna refer you to some resources that we have on our website. We do have a blog post and at least two videos, possibly three on this topic. And we do offer, you know, just some concrete examples of ways that you actually could spend your time in retirement, just some ideas and suggestions that we've had from our real life clients. I also wanna refer you to our week in retirement planner, which is something that I'll make sure that is linked in the show notes.

(10:39): But what we challenge all of you to do is download this planner and contemplate how you might wanna spend an average boring week in retirement. So what we do is we lay out a calendar seven days of the week, morning, afternoon, evening, and we challenge you to fill in those 21 boxes. How are you gonna spend a boring Monday morning or an average Thursday afternoon? And we also include with that calendar, just again, more specific activities, some examples, again, that we've seen, some folks really enjoy. So we hope that kind of our insights today and some of these, uh, resources available on our website and also in the show notes will be helpful as you're looking to answer this question,

(11:23): Great stuff here. And one that we're making available and you certainly should take tremendous opportunity because it is, these are both wonderful activities and I can speak personally cuz I do 'em quite often. So Yes You do. Yes.

(11:37): Yeah. They're fun conversations. Absolutely. So, you know, on our next episodes we're gonna be diving deeper into some retirement planning topics. One of the really fun upcoming episodes is on redefining work in retirement and kind of what does that mean? We're also gonna talk about just some things like, you know, my spouse is at home all the time and he or she is driving me crazy. So, you know, tune in for some of our future episodes. But in the meantime we'd love to hear from you what burning retirement planning topics are on your mind. You know, like I said, we're really looking and hoping to kind of get beyond the dollars and cents in this podcast. We're not gonna look to really talk too deep about some of the advanced technical planning strategies. That's obviously something that we do all day and night, but I think we're hoping to just kind of get some feedback and kind of open up the conversation to the fact that there's more to life than just money and there's more to retirement than just money

(12:33): . And I think some of the best insights come from those who are living it. And that's why it's really wonderful if we could hear from some folks and see how they're keeping themselves busy and what is working and more importantly what isn't and, uh, just build a community around this. This would be great.

(12:50): Absolutely. Absolutely. So I'll put our contact information in the show notes. And in the meantime, if you wanna look for any more great retirement related content, I would refer you to our website, which is prism planning, partners.com. Thank you all so much for taking the time to tune in today. Again, we're so excited to be launching this podcast, Ron, it was a pleasure. Thank you so much for your time. Pleasure also all mine and we look forward to seeing you next time. Thank you. Thanks so much. Bye.

(13:33): This program is brought to you by the podcast factory.com.

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