Saturday, May 2, 2020

'Retirement by Design' is a Helpful Workbook for Retirees and Those Planning Retirement

Do you wish you had someone to walk you through the complexities of planning your ideal retirement, especially if your original plans need revising because of stock market losses or an unexpected career change?  Are you confused by all the choices and opportunities you will have during the last phase of your life?  Are you worried you may not be able to afford to retire?  If so, you are not alone.  Many people ask themselves where they can afford to live after they stop working, what they should do with their time, how to deal with a reduced retirement account, and when would be the best time for them to retire. 

The helpful workbook, "Retirement by Design," (Ad) was written  by Ida Abbott, who has been a lawyer and legal consultant for over four decades.  She has helped mentor people through their professional careers from the start of their practice through retirement.  She brings design thinking to the process of retirement planning, and her insights will be very helpful to you.

Topics To Help You Design Your Retirement

A successful, satisfying retirement rarely happens accidentally.  This workbook walks you through a range of thought-provoking topics you should consider as you plan your retirement.  Among the topics you will find are:

What Do We Mean by Retirement Today?
Choosing a Personal Advisory Team
Exploring Your Attitudes and Feelings about Retirement
Starting Your Transition in Retirement
Knowing Who You Are and How You Got Here
The Impact of Retirement on Your Relationships
Potential Financial and Health Constraints
Getting Your Legal and Medical Arrangements in Order
Envisioning Your Future Life in Retirement
Organizing, Prioritizing, and Exploring Retirement Possibilities
Putting Together the Pieces: Designing Your Retirement Plan

How to Get the Most from this Workbook

"Retirement by Design" (Ad) is a book which would ideally be used by someone who is a few years away from retirement, although it is also helpful for people who have already retired and now find themselves feeling confused and struggling to get their retirement plan organized.  Whether you are just beginning to think about your future, or you are trying to reorganize the retirement you have already started, this workbook will be very helpful.

Each chapter asks relevant questions which are designed to help you clarify your thinking about what you want to do.  There are plenty of blank lines and charts following the questions, so you can jot your thoughts down in the book!  It will even help you transition out of a business you own, while guiding you to think about how to transfer your leadership roles and clients, and who you should tell about your transition plans.

This book will also guide your thinking about your past experiences and assist you in evaluating your risk tolerance.  You can list your favorite skills and consider how you may put them to use in the future.

Chapter 6 may be one of the most important, because it asks you to consider the impact of retirement on your relationships.  Is your spouse retiring at the same time?  Do you have a home-based spouse who works from a home office or is a homemaker?  How much togetherness do you want?  How much do they want?  This chapter also covers issues such as whether or not you should move to be near your children and grandchildren.  Are you willing to be a caregiver for your grandchildren? What if you have living, elderly parents?  How will your retirement affect them?  There are a lot of issues to consider in this chapter.

"Retirement by Design" (Ad) will also help you evaluate your Social Security and Medicare benefits, estate planning, medical directives and many of the legal issues you need to consider.

Finally, the book will guide you in discovering how you want to spend your free time during the final decades of your life.  Where do you want to live?  What hobbies would you like to pursue?  Do you need to earn extra income?  Would you like to volunteer?  Do you have a travel bucket list?

Retirement by Design was released in February 2020 by Ulysees Press. In it, the author utilizes the design thinking principles of empathy, definition, ideating, prototyping, and testing to help formulate what this season of life could look like for every individual. These innovative business principles will help you have a more fulfilling and meaningful retirement.  They will guide you in making decisions about location, finances, engagement in organizations, activities and interpersonal relationships.

Although retirement comes with many fears, Ida believes that the best way to deal with those fears is to acknowledge that they exist and take control of them. You've heard it a million times:  There's no right time to retire.  However, there are steps a person can take to set themselves up to achieve the dreams they have for the next phase of life.  This workbook will lessen the burden and help you design and live a life of purpose, enjoyment, and fulfillment.

By the time you have worked your way through this book, you will have a much clearer idea about the right retirement plan for you, and how to put it into action.  The book is available as both a paperback workbook, as well as on Kindle.  The paperback workbook is just a few dollars more than the Kindle version and I recommend it, because you can write your thoughts directly in the book and have everything in one place.

 More about Ida Abbott:

She is a former attorney and current professional consultant focusing on the power of mentoring relationships to guide, support, and transform professional careers from the beginning of practice through retirement.  She has long been a leader in the field of talent management, particularly mentoring, sponsorship, and the advancement of women into leadership. Over more than four decades as a lawyer and legal consultant, and recognition of a lifetime of achievement, Abbott has held leadership positions in numerous bar associations, women's organizations, and professional organizations in the U.S. and internationally. She was a co-founder of the Hastings Leadership Academy for Women and the Professional Development Consortium, and is now a sought-after speaker and the author of several books, including The Lawyer's Guide to Mentoring, 2nd Edition, (Ad) and Sponsoring Women: What Men Need to Know. (Ad)

Successful Retirement
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To learn more about common retirement planning issues, Medicare, Social Security, health problems, financial planning, where to retire and more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional helpful articles.

Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase from an Amazon ad, I'll make a small commission to support this blog, at no extra cost to you.

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Photo of book cover taken by author


  1. For those who enjoyed this book, here is another great recommendation. Definitely worth a read for anyone who wants to optimize their retirement!


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