No matter how much love we have for someone, relationships take effort. Sometimes the quest for better relationships is the catalyst for change. Sometimes it triggers retirement. Retirement brings the opportunity to reconnect with children, parents, siblings, friends and of course a spouse. This is not a stress-free transition.

We can laugh about people wanting their newly retired spouse to spend less time at home because that thought is so common, but there is a serious side to it. Just the change to the daily schedule can cause conflict. Encourage your clients to talk about how things will change around the house and talk about the other areas on the list. Attention to health, relevance, growth and play can keep a spouse from feeling smothered and the “honey do” list manageable.

One day you are working. People expect you to show up at a certain time and do certain things. Important things. Important enough that people give you money for doing them. You are needed.

Then you retire. When the alarm clock goes off, or doesn’t go off, far fewer people expect far fewer things from you. This void can be an abyss.

It is no wonder that many people have a hard time staying retired. They are bored or lack purpose. They feel irrelevant. The more one feels relevant because their work is infused with a sense of purpose, the harder retiring can be. The more one feels a sense of purpose and relevance about what they will do once they leave their job, the easier the transition.

If you ain’t growin’, you’re dyin’. That’s an adage that applies to our lives as well as our businesses.

A few years ago, I was invited to speak at the national conference of the Financial Planning Institute of South Africa. In anticipation of that trip, I got into photography.

For a time, I had a ravenous appetite for all things photographic. To this day, I carry an appreciation for photography as an art form and the tremendous skill of professional photographers.

There is a unique enthusiasm that comes from “getting into” something. An excitement that comes with the “beginner’s mind” as I have heard it described. The appetite for more can be almost insatiable and the boost in energy, palpable.
Finding that charge can be hard for some people because they meet discussions of personal growth with resistance. They fear self-discovery may be too intense, but as my photography example shows, less “deep” forms of growth can boost happiness levels even after the initial rush subsides. My photo albums attest to that.

Just ask a client if there is anything they have ever wanted to try. Heck if George H.W. Bush can skydive in his 90s, chances are good you can help a client think of something they can “get into.”

On June 27, as her 18th birthday wish, my daughter talked me into joining her to jump out of a perfectly good airplane. It would have been incredible fun without her, but it was an unforgettable experience because we shared it. From hearing her mutter under her breath about how the first thing she signed as an adult was a liability waiver for a potentially deadly activity, to that huge gorgeous smile she had plastered on her face when she landed, it was awesome.