Recently I became aware of two women who are writing a book about Retirement. ‘So what? That’s nothing new’ You might say.
However, after learning more about this project I know this book will be different.
Why? Because it will be thoughts from women like you and I. Roxanne Jones and Leslie Inman are two women on a mission. They want to hear your thoughts on what retirement is like and produce a book ‘Voices’.
Some of you may have heard about this project but I wanted to add my support because I wish there had been a book like this when I was approaching retirement. I also thought it fit well with #MakingMarchMeaningful. We can share what brings meaning and purpose to our lives now that we are retired.
I’ve asked Roxanne to write about the project and how you can be involved. Time to Add Your Voice!
Retired women: Shine a light on what retirement’s really like
What does retirement really feel like for a woman?
For many of us who are still suiting up and showing up at a job every day, the perception of retirement is that it’s either an idyllic state of freedom from alarm clocks, deadlines, and other people’s demands and expectations, or a dreaded loss of relevance, identity and purpose.
Where, exactly, does the truth lie?
Well, what better way to shed light on this issue than to go right to the source—and ask women who’ve actually retired?
That’s the idea behind a book now in development called Voices from the Other Side…of Retirement. My co-author Leslie Inman and I intend for it to be a guide for yet-to-retire women, with insights on what retirement is really like from women who’ve already left the working world.
Leslie and I are inviting retired women to add their voices to this book by telling us what their retirement experience looks and feels like, and share what they’ve learned.
If you’re one of them, simply go to www.retirementvoices.com and complete our online questionnaire. Submission deadline is April 30, 2019. If your submission is accepted (in whole or in part), you’ll receive a free copy of Voices when it’s published.
So why focus on what retirement feels like?
Most retirement resources for women focus on financial planning. Sure, economic security is a vital part of a viable retirement. But there’s a vast human side of this transition—its effect on our sense of identity, health, relationships, spirituality, everyday life and more—that’s uncharted territory for most women.
That’s because we baby boomers are the first generation of women to have staked a claim in the workplace in such great numbers. Just as we broke ground—and glass ceilings—professionally, thousands of us are now entering the ranks of the retired every day. Once again, it’s uncharted territory.
Voices will be a roadmap for the journey, containing in-their-own-words insights about retirement’s promise and pitfalls from women who’ve been there, done that.
Some people have asked us why we’re focusing on women—don’t men have these same existential questions when they leave their careers?
Perhaps they do, but Leslie and I aren’t hearing from men that they wish this kind of book existed for them (maybe it has something to do with their stereotypical unwillingness to ask for directions?).
Women, on the other hand, are willing—even eager—to learn from other women’s experience.
In fact, during our initial research for the book, every retired woman we spoke with said she wished there’d been a guide like this when she’d stepped away from work. That felt like a mandate.
At this writing, we’ve heard from women from 25 U.S. states, Canada, the UK, Portugal, France, Australia, and a sailboat off the coast of Central America. While there are commonalities among their retirement experiences, there is also great diversity.
This underscores a fundamental truth that we see emerging, which is that there’s no single right way to “do” retirement—many roads lead to Rome. And, most importantly, the wisdom of women who’ve broken the trail can help light the way for the rest of us.
The more women we hear from, the more valuable and powerful this book can be. We hope you’ll be one of them and share your hard-won insights about retirement!
Please go to www.retirementvoices.com and answer our questionnaire by April 30.
About the authors of Voices from the Other Side…of Retirement:
The consummate overachiever, Leslie Inman, 67, has retired three times—the third (and she swears, final) time in 2017. During her career, she worked in senior management in the corporate, higher education and nonprofit sectors, and also as a real estate agent and owner of an import business of Guatemalan handicrafts.
She now spends her time as a hospice volunteer, making images with her camera, playing pickleball, volunteering with a local aging-at-home organization, gardening, and working on the Retirement Voices project. She lives in Harpswell, Maine, with her very-retired husband.
Roxanne Jones is an award-winning freelance copywriter specializing in health and medicine and created the Boomer Haiku humor blog (now on hiatus). Before going out on her own in 1995, she held PR and marketing communications positions at organizations as diverse as the Boston Water and Sewer Commission, the Massachusetts Medical Society, and Boston University.
She turned 65 in 2018 and is on a glide path (versus a hard stop) toward retirement as she explores what it’ll look like for her. She lives in Cumberland Foreside, Maine, with her husband and cat.