Jump retirement hurdles with a coach

Retirement is a time in life that many of us long for. Dreaming of the day we have the financial freedom not to work anymore, or when we can shift the balance between paid work and our passion. But it can also be a period of adjustment and uncertainty as we settle into a new version of our life.

We chatted to the founder of The Happiness Institute, Dr Tim Sharp on how a Retirement Coach can help.

I’ve heard of a team coach – for sport – but what’s a retirement coach?

“A retirement coach is, in fact, very similar to a sports coach; someone who supports a learner in achieving a specific personal or professional goal. In sports this might be to improve skills with a view to winning. Where someone’s retired or retiring, the process would be similar, but the goals would be more about health, wellbeing and overall helping the individual to thrive and flourish and enjoy the best life possible.”

Why would someone need a retirement coach, and when’s the best time to find one?

“Firstly, not everyone does “need” a retirement coach. For many people transitioning from work to retirement is easy and positive. That being said, there are many people for whom this process can be challenging. If you do find yourself feeling especially negative about the change, it could be time to seek help. Sometimes you might even feel great about retiring but just unsure about how and where to direct your energy. This is where a retirement coach could be very useful. As for timing, well the earlier the better.”

How could a retirement coach help someone become happier in their retirement?

“This varies, but some of the more common themes include: 

  • Helping to clarify values, direction and purpose
  • Improving physical health and wellbeing, and energy levels
  • Rebuilding and regenerating hope and optimism
  • Helping the individual to connect or reconnect with others who have similar interests
  • And generally, helping them to define and then work towards a happy, fulfilling life!”

What’s involved in the process?

“The general process involves assessment of your current situation, strengths and weaknesses, setting goals, planning how you can achieve those goals, learning relevant skills and techniques and setting up maintenance systems so you can continue with your journey even after the coaching has finished.”

After working with their coach, what do your clients say has made the biggest impact on their life in retirement?

“Many different things, but the more common and profound would probably be clarifying a new direction and purpose and redefining an identity (who am I now that I’m not longer a ‘worker’?)”

What are the signs that someone I care about might need a retirement coach?

“Persistently low mood (including irritability and/or excessive frustration), lack of sleep, lack of appetite, loss of interest in social and recreational activities, social isolation and/or cognitive decline (such as difficulties remembering or paying attention).”

What could I do to help them?

“We can only really help others if they want to be helped. But you can prompt them to get help by subtly and appropriately raising concerns, directing them to relevant resources and ultimately, encouraging and supporting them to see a suitably qualified professional.”

You can find out more information about Retirement Coaching at www.thehappinessinstitute.com.au

Or, if you have any questions about your finances in retirement, speak to a financial adviser

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