What do 60 minutes, The Four Tops and NCIS all have in common? The answer may surprise you!

FYI don’t ever mention the word Retirement to a Baby Boomer as it carries a very negative connotation. It dates back to the 50’s when people who retired soon became diseased, depressed and dead. It was widely held that to retire meant that you were just sitting on the porch, in your rocking chair, in God’s waiting room ready to be called home.
Well times have changed because today retirement is seen as a transition, not the final step in this life’s journey. In fact, today retirement is seen as a chance to throw off many of the chains of responsibilities of life and let yourself decide what you want to do not have to do.
These past few weeks I have been reminded of the various ways that people deal with Retirement. Some see it as a real opportunity. Others fear it and run from it. While still others love what they do and see no reason to stop.
So what sparked my interest? Well first off in the, “I love what I do and see no reason to stop category”. There I was thoroughly enjoying two of the most famous R&B groups that definitely make up the soundtrack of my life. Yes I was taking in a grand performance by first, The Four Tops and then The Temptations. Their singing and dancing were superb, the orchestration first rate (17 piece band) and the way both groups connected with the audience through their story telling was so authentic it brought you in and made you feel like you were at a family reunion.
So great the show was fantastic!! What does that have to do with Retirement Coaching? Everything! Why? Because both groups have one original member left in each group. And both performers are well into their 70’s, do over 100 shows per year and do it only because they love what they do. You see Duke Fakir and three others started singing together in 1953. Unfortunately, the other three have passed on but Duke continues on as does Otis “Big Daddy” Williams from the Temptations. Otis was the guy who actually formed the group in 1960 and still leads the group today 59 years later. He too does it for the love of it and would have it no other way.

Hmmm!

What do 60 minutes, The Four Tops and NCIS all have in common
This past Sunday I was watching 60 minutes and Leslie Stahl was interviewing Steve Kroft a 39 year veteran of CBS News with 30 of those years assigned to 60 minutes. Leslie was really probing trying to find out why Steve was leaving the famed show. Steve simply responded that it was good to leave when you are on top and he really wanted to try a few new things while he still has the strength and energy to do it. Leslie was appalled she kept probing Steve to admit that it was something else. No Leslie, Steve has a plan for his retirement and he is acting on it. No more pressure, pressure, pressure. Time to kick back and do something creative at his pace rather than at the 60 minutes pace.
Leslie, Steve is 74 years old and you are 77. Listen to what he told you and reflect. You have been at CBS for 47 years and 60 minutes 28 of those years. Do you stay at CBS because you love it or because you fear having nothing else to go too?
Finally last night I was watching NCIS. It was a repeat which I had seen before but the first time around I did not focus in on the fact that Gibbs (the main character) was out at a bar with his psychiatrist drinking coffee trying to explain to her why he had to turn himself into authorities for a murder he committed 30 years hence. And why did he feel he had to do that? Because of his high moral standards as his team’s leader he did not want to let his team down by hiding the fact he actually concealed a bad act from them and needed to pay for his actions.
But here’s where it gets interesting his psychiatrist was able to unearth the fact that Jethro really was using that incident as a way to transition himself, in his mind morally, from their leader to a prison inmate. Thus making it easy for him to avoid retiring. You see the psychiatrist kept probing and got Gibbs to admit that he wasn’t ready to hang it up because he didn’t know what else he would do.
Bingo, that is the number one reason why many people do not retire until they are forced to by either a health event or a corporate event called it’s time to go. So why is this? Because people are gripped with this FEAR that if I leave what I have there will be nothing to replace it. They are caught in the, it’s safe to stay here even though I really would rather not be here plight.
All of these famous people examples just go to show you that we all need to reflect on what we really want out of our next stage in life. To do it right you need a plan. So get a retirement coach because we can help no matter how famous or infamous you are.

Bob Foley coaches, blogs and hosts a weekly podcast all dedicated to advancing the concept of your Legacy Transition. Contact him at Bob@Legacytransitions.org or visit his website at www.legacytransitions.org.