Q&A with Amy Weals,
founder of Late Bloomer Coaching
After her mother passed away in October of 2017, Amy Weals (pronounced “Whales”) found herself “accidentally” retired from her Human Resources career. Amy resigned from her job earlier that year for personal reasons, one being to help her parents as her mother’s health had begun to decline. Several months later, she started to focus on building her “post-work” life and began searching herself for the next step in her career.
Reflecting on how much she enjoyed coaching people transitioning from individual contributor to manager, she considered ways to use those skills to help people transition from employment to retirement.
After earning a certification as a retirement coach, Amy founded Late Bloomer Coaching in October of 2018 and now works with organizations, teams and couples to prepare them for the transition to retirement.
Q&A with Amy
Why do you think so many Baby Boomers find themselves unprepared for the non-financial aspects of retirement?
Even with 10,000 Baby Boomers retiring every day, people just don’t talk about it. Planning for finances is the main topic. Employers discuss saving for retirement when people start a job so people don’t pay attention to what they will do in retirement. The risk is their retirement may not be as fulfilling as they expect it to be.
What other benefits do work and career provide beyond a paycheck?
First is identity. So much of our identity comes from work because that is how we define ourselves.
Then there is time management. When you get to retirement, you have about 50 hours to fill each week if you count preparation time and commuting. That’s a lot of time to fill. Work brings structure to your day and without that structure, it’s easy to procrastinate and have time slip away.
What about the social element of retirement?
Work also provides social contact via co-workers, shared meals in the cafeteria and after-work gatherings. Outside of work, it’s more difficult to make friends and socializing is a big part of becoming a well-adjusted retiree.
Why should people start this planning and thinking about their life in retirement while they’re still working?
There is loss involved in any transition and retirement is shaped by what you have seen with family and friends. Starting the emotional break from work to other things will begin to provide your life with new structure and experiences that were once provided by working. Many people put off making wills and final arrangements, but once those are done, they feel more settled. It’s the same with retirement.
How can coaching help?
For most people, the perception of retirement is based on family members and close friends. But you don’t really know what retirement is like until you are there.
A coach can act as a sounding board to elicit expectations you have about your retirement that may not be clearly defined and articulated. Once known, these expectations can be evaluated and a coach can help create and implement a realistic and fulfilling plan for retirement.
Retirepreneur PS: Amy would be a great coach to explore for help in planning your retirement. Click here to learn more about Late Bloomer Coaching.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR/INTERVIEWER:
John Sullivan has over 30 years as a project manager and has published business and career articles in a number of magazines and websites, including the Wall Street Journal’s Careers.com website. He lives in Dayton, Ohio.