Boo! It’s almost Halloween. Since mid September you’ve seen all the preparations, decorations, and merchandise. There are lights for your lawn, bags of trick-or-treat candies for your give-away bowl, and – of course – the Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice latte!

Now comes the big question. You are probably going to a Halloween party, so…

“Who are you going to be?”

I’ll bet you probably started planning for it far in advance. After all, you’ll need to think it through, get a costume, make sure it’s comfortable, and check that it looks good.  Will you be someone scary? Someone cool? Someone funny? A gorilla? A princess? A Zombie?  Such choices! And what fun to play and search, and be creative.


Which reminds me of …, RETIREMENT!  So…

“Who are you going to be?”

Soon your old identity of “doctor,” “lawyer,” “businessman,” “teacher,” will be no longer applicable, so who are you going to be without that business card? It’s a good idea to start planning now. Just like for Halloween, you’ll need to make some plans, decide how you want to spend your time, and then figure out how you will make it all happen. You can try on different costumes and take different paths towards the treats you so desire.

The special beauty of retirement is that you can always take off the costume if it becomes uncomfortable. Then you can change into something else!


Take Bob, for example.  He knew when he retired, he was going to spend his time riding and grooming horses. He had a place to start.

He soon found that doing this all day every day was not really what he had in mind. So, he then cut back to going to the stables twice a week.  And since he always liked writing, now he spends a lot of time writing mysteries set in the horseback riding world.


Emily’s love for taking photographs had to take a back seat to work and family responsibilities. Two years before she retired, she made some plans and signed up for a weekend course in photography to sharpen her skills. She loves going out in the early morning to walk along the lake, and her nature photographs are beautiful.

Recently, someone asked her to take photos of their son’s wedding and various other special events. That then turned into teaching photography as a continuing education course to adults at the local high school.

It all started with having a plan. That is the secret to success with most things, and it is really important in retirement. Sure, you might say you have your finances in order, but after all, retirement is about so much more than the money.

Eliminate the tricks; make way for the treats! Happy Halloween this week!  And start planning now for your Happy Retirement!

Loretta Saff is a Certified Professional Retirement Coach. Read more from her at her website where you can also sign up to receive her blog and order her three “10 Great Tips” Handbooks (parenting/Grand Parenting/Retirement).