Research reveals the benefit of retirement coaching

Always deeply touched by my conversations with RetiremeantTM clients, I am so grateful for your courage in talking about what this transition means. I am equally appreciative when someone gives their time to chat to me about the topic closest to my heart: merging your money with meaning to create the life you want.

Tessa Deighton is such a person, having just finished her research assignment for the Master of Philosophy in Management Coaching degree: The potential role of coaching for corporate executives dealing with the impact of a retirement transition.

Tessa interviewed me on the process Chartered follows in our RetiremeantTM Journey. Thank you to our clients who participated in this study; you will be pleased to know that Tessa received a first class pass. I am sure this study will be extremely helpful to coaches, corporates and others planning for the retirement transition.

Why coaching for retirement?

“I chose this topic,” said Tessa, “because I noticed how many people suffer ill health directly after retirement.” Tessa had a hunch that failure to plan for your life’s second half may create stress and increase anxiety levels, which in turn, impacts on health. “I wanted to research the impact retirement has on the individual, and specifically the corporate executive, and to explore the benefits of coaching in preparing for this transition.”

Research sample

Tessa interviewed both retirees (who had received coaching for their retirement transition) and seasoned executive retirement coaches for her study.

Research findings

Tessa found that people who don’t receive coaching prior to the transition risk being completely unprepared for retirement. “I found that denial of the day and the life after retirement is a major hurdle in the ability of corporate executives to face the transition,” she said.

According to Tessa, “the most prominent issue was what retiring corporate executives would do with their time to give them a sense of value, meaning and purpose.” Most people don’t consider what retirement will mean to them, and what their retirement will look like. In addition, corporate support focuses solely on finances.

In contrast, those who received retirement coaching acknowledged that retirement is a major transition, both mentally and emotionally. “Many said they had denied or underestimated the impact of the transition and found the coaching to be invaluable with beneficial outcomes,” Tessa said.

Top tips

Tessa received her Degree from Stellenbosh University. She burst a disk in her back a month before her graduation and suddenly found herself unable to walk. Rather than graduating in abstentia, Tess scheduled the operation for the following year and attended her graduation in her wheelchair.

Based on her research, Tessa shares her top tips from those in her sample study that had undergone retirement coaching:

  1. Acknowledge – retirement is a challenging transition; face it, embrace it, work through it.
  2. Support – make sure you have someone to talk to.
  3. Attitude – cultivate a positive attitude and see retirement as a beginning.
  4. Introspection – reflect on what motivates you; know your personality style and plan your life to accommodate your wants and needs.

Three tips from retirement coaches:

  1. Invest in yourself – allow yourself the luxury of coaching. Being prepared mentally, psychologically and physically is to retire successfully.
  2. If you work in a corporate, acknowledge the impact of your retirement and exit conditions. Plan ahead, and if possible, negotiate for a phased-in retirement.
  3. Lobby for coaching to be included in retirement planning.

I left my meeting with Tessa with a warm feeling in my heart, and the confirmation that we were indeed giving our clients the support needed. I am proud of our RetiremeantTM Journey at Chartered and feel so privileged that you – our clients – have trusted us to Retire Successfully.

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