Let’s raise the white flag, and charge over the hill into retirement. For the nearly and newly retired, retreat is an amazing tool in our toolbox to create a retirement life that is indeed a daring adventure.

Yogi Berra said it best, when he said,

“If you don’t know where you’re going, you might just end up someplace else.”

He was so right. Without plans, without thinking about the first day after retirement, or the first month, or the first year, all the dreaming about those retirement days, just might not look like what we thought.

As I think about the tool of retreat, I realize that the word has two definitions.

The first is “withdrawing away from enemy lines”. We’re moving away from the challenges we had in our full time work lives. We’re putting away those calendars, we’re shaking off those corporate outfits we wore every day, we’re letting our cars sit in the driveway rather than hitting the road. We’re retreating from the 9-5 rat race.

But the second definition is more apropos. This definition is “to withdraw to a quiet place and change one’s attitude”.

So I invite you to do just that. To find a quiet hour or day and hold your own retreat. Go to a coffee shop, or out in the woods, or into your den and just give yourself the time and space to dream.

Millions of dollars are spent each year on corporate retreats. The moving the folks from the office out to a calmer, more tranquil place for colleagues to be together. And there are many reasons corporations hold retreats and the top five ones I know of, are reasons we too, can use the tool of retreat in our retirement planning.

  • Strategic Planning. Like corporations, we need to become strategic in our planning for our retirement future. Many have done this with their financial planning. But we need to not only have a financial portfolio at retirement, but also a lifestyle portfolio, to map out our new lives.

Here’s an idea to start. Take a large piece of paper. Pick up your favorite pen and layout a timeline on the page. On the left put today, then map out the time you’d like to plan for; maybe it’s 6 months after retirement, maybe it’s 20 years. Mark some key benchmarks for yourself.

Or maybe, you’re a visual person. Maybe you’d like to tear pictures of things you love from the magazines in your home, and take this “retreat” time to create your own vision/dream board of what you’d like in your retirement time. Glue the pictures on the board and then hang it over your desk so you can remind yourself of what it is YOU indeed want in retirement.

  • Launch a New Product/Project. Corporations often retreat at the start of a new product. It allows folks to talk about what the product might do or be.

What might be your new product in retirement? Do you want more time to continue a hobby like golf? Do you want to take up golf? Have you always wished you could open a bookstore, or work at the humane society? Do you want to start writing that mystery novel you’ve wanted to work on?

During this retreat time, write down 5-10 new products/projects you’d like to accomplish during retirement.

I can already hear some of you say…Nothing! I want to do nothing! Ok, write that down. So what do you want as a project after Nothing.

  • Team Building. We’ve all been at corporate retreats where there are team building exercises to build trust and get to know our work day                         colleagues.

One of the facts of retirement is that though at work we spend 1/3 of our life among people, we now in retirement have 1/3 of our life without people.

During your retreat time, think about who will be your new tribe? Who will you engage with each day? Will your partner be ready to be your only contact all day? What groups could you start going to, meeting with, engaging with during a week? Have you checked out the number of Meetup.com groups that you might want to join? We need people to keep us learning and excited, during your retreat, make a list of what  that might look like for you in your retirement.

  • Boost Creativity. Retreats pull us away from our normal day. They allow us to use the right side of our brains and create new thoughts without worrying whether our cell phone will go off.

During your retreat, look around the space you’re in right now, how could it be different, could you paint a wall, could you hang a picture somewhere else? If you’re outside, what if you walked to a new park?

How do you boost your creativity? Retirement provides the time for us to create. What does that mean for you? How do you create in your life now and in the future?

  • Lastly, Create and Implement Change. Companies understand that during a retreat, new ideas will come up. New thoughts, understandings, relationships will be formed. Change is the only constant in the universe-Heraclitus said in 500 AD. We know that our bodies regenerate all of our cells every 7 years. Every morning, we are not the same person that woke up yesterday. Life is flux. Using our tool of retreat helps us to understand that the changes we dream of, we plan for, can be real if we remember that change happens!

So are you ready to charge that hill of retirement waving your white flag of retreat?

Are you ready to live your retirement days not fearful of what might be, but with a plan in hand? Are your ready to look at the people around you, to decide your next best product? I’m sure you are, you’re a RetireeRebel! RetireeRebels.com