Have You Planned to Live Your Best Life in Retirement?

Retirement! I’m ready. How about you!

I am leaving my community college teaching position in nine weeks. I can’t believe that I’m finally making this change.  I’ve always loved teaching, but I knew it was time to leave after a shooting in my building three years ago.  I was trapped in my office as nine people were slaughtered.

Last summer when I had an opportunity to give a TEDx talk, Your Best Life at Any Age, I started focusing on what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.

I read everything I could get my hands on to prepare for retirement. I even earned a certified professional coaching designation so that I could better understand the retirement process. What I did learn is that retirement is one of the biggest changes we can make in our lives. It is very important that we are prepared – not just financially, but prepared to replace what we lose when we actually retire.

Not only do we need to make sure we have enough passive income to meet our needs (this could include a pension, social security, rental income, or other sources), but that we have developed a new identity for ourselves beyond the workplace.  In addition, we need to think about connections with others. We may think we’ll continue to see our work buddies after we retire, but that’s not very realistic. Also, we’ve got to figure out what’s going to keep us motivated each day. It may sound great to have freedom and control over our time, but that could quickly turn into boredom and hours in front of the television. When we figure out who we are becoming and what will help us find meaning in our lives, we’ve also got to develop a certain amount of structure for ourselves.

As eager as many of us might be to move on – to leave work – to get out of Dodge, it takes a lot of planning to move into a new life that is full and satisfying. As for me, I’m developing a plan to work for myself. I want to work with other Baby Boomers to help them identify the information, strategies, and tools they will need to live their best lives now and in the future.

In December, I will be launching a new website for Baby Boomers – BoomerBestU.com.  In the meantime, I have launched a Facebook page for Boomers who are interested in information about the nonfinancial aspects of retirement. As it has turned out, the site is quite interactive.  If you are interested in living your best life in retirement, please join us at Boomer Best U!


Paula Marie Usrey, M.S., CPRC


I am an associate professor of communication in Southern Oregon. I'm also an ancient spirit who has learned how to create positive changes in my own life and use unexpected changes to become more of the person I believe I am meant to be. My vision is to help empower others by sharing how to dream big and develop measurable action steps to achieve those dreams.

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