Phased Retirement: A Blueprint for Success

Several years ago, during our company’s staff development cycle, I told an analyst who reported to me that he had to own the process, that I couldn’t set his goals for him, which seemed pretty obvious.  But then, since our discussion was an informal one, I said (only partially in jest), “Well, actually, I bet I can set your goals!”

From our prior discussions and what I knew about him I was pretty sure I could draft a ‘goals blueprint’ for him.  It wouldn’t be perfect of course, but hey, he had nothing on paper!

Using some of the goals categories from Jeff Olson’s book The Slight Edge I was able to draft up some goals for him in the areas of Health, Relationships, Personal Development, Finances, Career, and Impact on the World.

This got my employee’s juices flowing and gave him something to react to and because I had drafted HIS goals – it clearly gave him permission to edit them and manipulate the timing!

No, I’m not going to draft your retirement goals for you – but here are some steps you can take right now to start the process yourself.

Use the categories above to draft up what you want to have happen in each area.  For a focus on retirement I’d add at least one additional category and call it “Experiences.” 

Then to make your plan real in terms of timing, use the “time bucket” approach from Bill Perkins (author of Die With Zero).  This is not a bucket-list thing, but rather a process of creating 5 year ‘buckets’ of time; ages 55 through 59, ages 60-64, etc.

Then start dropping your list of items into one of the buckets to better visualize what you want and when you want it to happen.  It’s a relatively simple but powerful way to start your own retirement blueprint.

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