Retirement Redesigned

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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Retirement Redesigned



Reset is driven by a clear and pressing purpose.

Retirement isn’t working. We need to build better alternatives.

The commonly accepted solution for retirement, ‘save enough money and everything will be ok’, is a one-dimensional view that has been entrenched by the financial industry.

It grows increasingly clear that it’s just not that simple. Money is one of the important aspects of retirement but there are a host of others that are being chronically neglected. These include our sense of purpose and self-worth, our relationships and sense of belonging, how to fill our days with activity and meaning.

Not only is this traditional notion of saving enough to live a fulfilling life simplistic at best - it’s becoming increasingly unattainable to a growing majority of people who aren’t managing to save enough.

A growing and urgent global problem

Retirement as we know it was designed for a bygone era. The age of 65 for retirement was first set into law in the US in 1935 when the average life expectancy was just 61! Retirement was designed as an exception to the rule.

Today, more than 10,000 Baby Boomers retire in the US every day along with many more all over the world.

People are living longer and healthier lives. What used to be the twilight years has become our third chapter, but it hasn’t been properly catered for. Medicine, nutrition and fitness have all contributed to a significant evolution in health - but societal structures have not kept up with the change.

There is a growing disconnect between the traditional notion of retirement and the changes we are seeing in the world. This is not just a retirement problem - the whole idea of a stable linear career with good benefits and a pension is being disrupted. Increasingly younger people face the same challenges we face: what should I be doing with my life and how can I look after myself and my loved ones indefinitely?

Better preparation and training

What does life hold after full-time employment? It’s mostly unclear. There is vigorous training for every major life stage except for when we leave full-time work. That is left to everyone to figure out on their own.

Actuaries now say that those in their 60s, in reasonable health, should plan to live for another 30+ years. This is roughly a third of one’s life - yet there is surprisingly little done to prepare people or show the way.

This is what we want to change.

There are many excellent resources out there, many of which are free or inexpensive, including - books, podcasts, courses, apps, online services and community organizations. We aim to keep finding, testing and sharing the best of these, and combining this knowledge into potent education and training. We can design a new type of lifestyle.

A more productive and fulfilling life after full-time employment

Between the sea of undesirable retirements cases, there are examples of how rewarding this time can be. These are beacons for us to follow.

With the right factors in place, one’s third chapter should be the most rewarding. For this, you need a number of essential ingredients:

  • A sense of purpose and self-worth, along with clear goals
  • Adequate resources to fulfil your goals
  • Meaningful goals that don’t simply rely on money
  • Good partners and healthy relationships
  • You need to look after your body, mind and spirit

All these factors can be actively improved but first you have to decide that you want to. One’s attitude, willingness to endure change and discomfort are key. Your level of commitment determines how much you can gain.

Our guiding principles

To replicate the exceptional successes we have seen, these are some of the principles we believe will underpin a broad solution:

  • The traditional notion of a hard-stop retirement at 65 has become arbitrary
  • People should plan for- and transition to- the third phase of their life
  • More training, support and guidance is required to help people make this transition
  • Most retirees are of sound body and mind and have skills and knowledge that are being under-utilized
  • More opportunities for them to be productive in the workplace or community are needed
  • A positive transition firstly requires an open mind and commitment

Some practical areas we are pursuing

These are some of the areas we are pursuing to create a viable alternative to traditional retirement:

  • Conducting research through surveys and sharing data
  • Retirement coaching
  • Online courses
  • Publishing original and curated articles
  • Publishing podcasts
  • Building forums and encouraging conversations
  • Facilitating the sharing of opportunities like jobs or gigs within our community
  • Partnering with organizations to offer our community deals and savings

Sparking a movement for global change.

To address the broader societal and institutional issues we must partner and collaborate with organizations, but first, we must grow a community - and it starts with all of us as individuals.

We invite you to join us; be part of our conversation; engage with us and join our community. Let’s make life after full-time employment more fulfilling for you and millions of others around the world.


Good performance needs coaching

Why does Roger Federer have a tennis coach? It’s to give him an objective view of his performance and to encourage him. Similarly, we should have training and help for any significant area we wish to excel in. 

A productive and fulfilling life after ‘retirement’ also requires coaching

In business many top performing business executives have coaches for the same reason. But there is one area of a business life that has escaped proper coaching and education, and that is in the third stage of life. The focus all along has been on finances and whether you have saved enough. But few talk about all the other aspects including the psychology of this transition. 

The Reset coaching blueprint

In our research, we have identified five key factors to a productive and fulfilling life after full time employment. Our coaching blueprint sets out to help our clients get these five factors working for them. The process begins by assessing each client’s readiness across the key areas, then we co-create a plan for each client and guide them in the practical implementation. We revisit this cycle annually or as necessary. 

The five factors are: 

1. Purpose
What do you want from your next life stage? After leaving full-time work what will provide meaning for you and provide you with a reason to focus yourself?

2. Resources
What do you have at your disposal to achieve your goals with? What part of your experience can be re-programmed for whatever you may take on in your retirement?

3. Community
Who are you going to be doing things with? What are your key relationships across family, friends and professional networks?

4. Productivity
What do you need to get done to achieve your goals? Are your habits and life processes enabling you to keep yourself on track? Is being productive at this stage important to you? 

5. Reward
What do you want to get from your next life stage? What gives you satisfaction and what do you want your life to look like? 

The Reset Coaching practice is overseen by Johann Redelinghuys and based in Johannesburg but available elsewhere. For enquiries, contact us.


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