Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I am reading a new book on retirement (Don't Retire--Reinvent Yourself by Mike Connell and Frank Jenio; review coming soon) and one chapter in the book suggests that anyone considering retirement should determine what their values are so that they can plan accordingly. In other words, if one of your key values is lifelong learning, how will you accomplish this when you retire? A list of values is included as a starting place for thinking and possibly even discussing with your mate or family.

I had not considered that my values could play a key role in my retirement, but as I thought about it, I realized that my values are exactly why I am retiring now instead of later. I also realized that because my values were out of sync with those of my workplace, I have not been happy or satisfied in my current position.

(image from

But what are my values? How to put a name to something that I have accepted as part of who I am for so long, yet have never really recognized for what it is? The list is  long, actually, and the book acknowledges this and suggests that the list be reviewed and honed until only the most important remain. Those then become the values that can shape or define your retirement.

So, to make a start, here are some of the values I can identify immediately as important to me, in no particular order:

lifelong learning

There are more, I know--these are the ones I can name in 15 seconds. I would like to delve into each of these in future posts and explore why these are important to me.

If you had to make such a list, what would you name, and why?


Lee said...

I'm often confused, when trying to make a list like this, between what my true values are and what I think they SHOULD be.

Granny Sue said...

What you *think* they should be is why they are a value. A value is not what is, but what you believe should be. They may seem idealistic rather than realistic, but we strive for the ideal while dealing with the real--if that makes any sense!

Nance said...

I am 2 or 3 years away from retirement (I hope!). Your post has really made me stop and think about what I would like to accomplish in the next 30 years! (I hope!) : )

Rowan said...

I confess that I don't think that deeply! I know what interests me and my life revolves around those things. Of course since I have been a housewife ever since I married nearly 39 years ago I've never actually retired:) I just have more time available and I try to use it to the full.

Granny Sue said...

That is one thing that impacted my decision to retire now, Rowan--the realization that my years truly are numbered now and most of them are behind me. I have a list of things to accomplish too--my bucket list. This list is the reason behind THAT list, I think--the "why" I want to do those things.

Granny Sue said...

Rowan, I think you are like me, you know but haven't named those values. It's interesting to stop and think about why we choose the lives we choose, and how we want to go forward. Underlying all of it are the core beliefs we hold, and yet we often don't even consider them or know them in our everyday rush to get things done. Tis life!


Granny Sue -- In response to the title of the book -- reinvent yourself may I add this comment. Discover yourself -- take your passion off that back shelf and live!

Angela said...

I love what Folkways Notebook said! What a statement to live by!

Granny Kate said...

Being an Elder, not just older,
Judgement free
Able to come to center
Able to listen
Able to speak truth in kindness (or keep silent)
Acceptance of self and others
Ability to rock the boat when necessary
Fully alive

I'm not sure all those are values -- but they are ways that seem important to me. I don't ever want to be "ditto". I think it's important to be who I am and not simply acceptable to the norm. When I am old I'll have something to teach the young. I once started this campaign with some friends to encourage each other to Learn One Teachable Skill so we could be Elders and not just older.

Thanks for the food for thought.

Granny Sue said...

Being an Elder is an important value, Kate--and I could "ditto" all the rest of your list for me--well except magical. That I am not, but I enjoy it in others.

But back to being an Elder--I did not consciously consider that role for a long time because I never saw myself as older; I was just way busy living and learning and still felt like a young person in many ways because there was so much to discover still. Then suddenly, I was facing 60! And that milestone makes a person take stock :)

Granny Kate said...

You are magical in the way I mean -- your stories are transformational and you are truly an Elder and not just older. You have many gifts to pass on to the young ones and you are actively doing so! I'm proud to know you.

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