Article by Anna Letitia Cook
At our age, as well as worrying about various parts (normally physical) that might be shrinking, sagging or generally declining, you might also be glancing an eye (or if like me, outright panicking) about dwindling finances and savings and wondering what your pension will look like.
Even if you are one of the intelligent, well-organised sensible people who has planned shrewdly to ensure that your retirement is comfortable, financial crises and fluctuating economies can cause your pound, dollar, euro to be considerably less serviceable than anticipated.
If, like me, you have never thought that age would arrive in your suitcase and have country-hopped for years without the slightest consideration for pensions, retirement or hanging up the plane tickets you might suddenly face the frightening reality of pennilessness looking at you, balefully, over your morning cup of tea!
No pension and no savings….a wake up call!
It didn’t actually hit me until my ex-OH retired serenely at what seemed to my Anglo-Saxon brain to be an unreasonably young age, (French cops normally retire at 55), but with a very good pension. I digress… the point is, it hit me like a meteorite explosion that that should be me in a few years, except I had no pension, no savings and I was still as much of an adventure loving soul as when I was 20… It was a wake up call of Titanic proportions…
So whether we are comfortable and just want a top up for the luxuries in life, or whether we are waking up to the prospects of a more than slightly unpredictable future – what can we do?
For most people at our age, we don’t necessarily want to spend hours doing something that we don’t really like or we find boring. We have probably worked our guts out for years and now we want to have a bit of pleasure and passion in our souls. That is the key!
Take your passions and turn them into a career or business venture… Think out of the box! Think entrepreneur…
Find what you really like doing, what you are good at; where your passion, enthusiasm and energy shines through and package that up into a marketable product or service.
I will give you some examples:
Patricia, slightly older than me, always loved cooking and always been known for her great parties, dinners, lunches etc. She also happens to have a horse-mad daughter. She used to help out dong the normal Mum stuff – organising the parties, the club events etc, doing the sandwiches, or an after competition chili etc. She was always asked to help because she was so good at it, enjoyed it, was fun and liked the cooking part. As she was asked more and more, and as she prepared a larger and more extensive range of meals, she had no problem in changing this to a business venture becoming a caterer. Her services range from extremely elegant cocktail and dinner parties for a few people up to Pony Club (and the like) parties with buffets for well over 100, even doing all the food for camp weeks… She never does one scrap of advertising, it is all recommendation and word of mouth!
Lou, someone who came to sport late in life, developed a passion for running, particularly marathons. From helping friends with a bit of advice here and there, has become a sought after personal coach on the best training and mental approach to tackling marathons, as well as for people who want to start running.
Bee, left a very well-known corporate services company and created a marketing consultancy working from home, and mostly online, helping small firms and solo professionals. His passion is marketing and technology!
Look at me – I am passionate about writing, freedom, ?independence, helping people to discover what they truly want, instead of being stuck in what they “should”, being fulfilled by what you do instead of being bored and simply looking at your job as a way to pay the bills. So I analysed and packaged my passions, creating my current business but with a path which includes lots of writing (my dream), now with 2 books in progress – and to keep the travel bug going, happy to jet off around the world to do speaking engagements and intensive workshops…
Let’s put you in this picture – What are your passions and how could you work them into your current career, use them to create a new business, or simply to make your retirement more interesting?
Email me (email@example.com) or write in the comment box below with your ideas on this topic or if you would like me to write another article with some more tips on how to put this into practice…
* * * * *
Empowering women to discover what they truly want, instead of being stuck in what they “should”, Anna Letitia Cook is particularly passionate about mentoring women executives, and the 50+ sector, in finding clarity in their career choices to achieve freedom, fulfilment and leadership success. She created and became CEO of her first company in the entertainment industry at age 32. Midlife approaching, hungry for a dynamic change, she refocused her experience, founding WomenUP Ltd, focusing on the challenges of corporate gender balance strategy”. Creator of the process SCOPE for career, fulfilment and success, she is currently working on her first book ‘Liberate Your Career: The Women’s Guide to Freedom and Fulfilment’, with plans for a second, ‘Glass Ceiling Grans’, early next year.
On the personal front: Mum, ‘flattie’ owner, horse lover, ballet fanatic, hiker! Into castle renovations, sculpture, farming, yoga. Drinks tea…