8 On Your Side

Are you emotionally ready for retirement?

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) -- Women will often outlive their spouses, and are living much longer, well beyond the traditional retirement age. As a result, their finances have to stretch farther and last, possibly for decades after retirement.

When Abby Vega decided to retire after 33 years in sales and marketing, she wasn't ready to quit quit. Her retirement plan?

"Believe it or not, it was driving a Sno-cone truck," laughs Vega, adding that she grew up with very little money, and always dreamed of driving an ice cream truck.

But, before icing her professional career for ice cream, she sought advice from Jeannette Bajalia, a financial and retirement planner, who founded Woman's Worth, a website that helps women focus on the emotional, and even the physical health issues they face when dealing with finances. 

"It's not over til it's over, and you've got to have purpose along the way," Bajalia says.

Bajalia suggests this process:

  • Don't retire from something unless you go to something. In other words, don't stop a career unless you know what you are going to do next. For Vega, it was transitioning into fulfilling her childhood goals, and also giving back through charitable donations.
  • Get clear on what you're passionate about. Explore your interests. What energizes you? What gets you up each morning? What would you do whether you were paid for it or not? Is there something you had to put on hold in earlier life stages that can be re-birthed into a purposeful opportunity?
  • Create a vision for your new interest. It could be a business idea, a foundation you might want to create or a service you want to provide to your community. Write it down, put it on a vision board, let it incubate; get with friends, colleagues, family members and get feedback.
  • Develop a plan with goals and expected outcomes for your vision. Ask yourself some basic questions: who, what, when, where, why and how? Write it down and imagine yourself pursuing the plan. Experience the emotions of achieving success.
  • Execute the plan! No more dreaming; just get on with the plan and enjoy your new life purpose with conviction, vitality and enthusiasm and be open to what it will lead you to.

Vega spent a year selling Sno-cones, then sold her truck. She wrote a book about her experience, and the people that she met along the way, and now she's planning the next chapter of her life.

Vega says, "Life isn't over at 50 or 60. Life is just beginning. Now it's all about you. You've raised your children, you've raised your husband to be a good person (laughs) and a responsible individual, and now its about you."

Learn more about Woman's Worth at this website.

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