What do Boomers do after retirement?


Published: 20 Mar 2023


I did a talk at a Rotary event a couple of years ago. I could tell from looking up into the audience as I was speaking that a few of them had not thought about some of the things I was saying. Afterwards at the bar, a guy came up to me  and said, “I feel like you were talking about me. I retire at the end of this year and I have no idea what to do next?”

“What will I do when there is no work?”  “Whatever you want,” I replied back. “Your whole life you lived to people’s standards and expectations. There must be something you want to do?”

Over the two years since then I have had many of those conversations.

The last of the Boomers if they retire at 65, will retire in New Zealand around 2026. Most of them won’t be ready. Most of them won’t want to…because they don’t know what’s next for them!

Ponder the scenario:

Martin is a 65 year old man who has worked for his own business in the city, which he sold six months ago and retired. At home in his four bedroomed house he’s always had an office (because he needs one).  He is a bit lost when he no longer goes to work, and finds himself spending parts of his day in there.

When we meet, he’s already been retired for six months. His wife claims to have hardly seen him any more than before, and looks resigned to a similar life in retirement as she had before.

I ask him several questions about how he spends his time and this is the conversation that ensues:

How do you spend your time now you’re not working Martin?

“I get up later I suppose, I still can’t get used to wearing casual clothes, and read the paper and then potter in my office.”

What do you do in the office?

“Oh, you know, attend to household admin and daily stuff?”

How much of that is there with just regular bills now though? Couldn’t you just deal with it online through Apps etc? 

“I could”.

So, why do you really need an office nowadays?

“Well, to store all the office stuff.”

Is it possible it could all be archived now? The really old stuff destroyed or sold. The stuff you have to save for tax purposes for a few years archived in the loft or somewhere out of sight.

“Yes, I don’t need it anymore now the final GST is done.”

So, without that, do you actually need an office?

“Not really, but where will I go to hang out?”

Well, you have many options. You can do what you want now remember. You could remove all of the office stuff, sell it or give it away on your local Trading page. Someone would be glad of it I’m sure.

Listen, Martin. I’m not pressuring you to do anything. Breakthrough Coaching means it’s YOU that has the breakthrough. All I’m here for is to help you explore potential by asking curious questions.

So, here’s the final questions for today that we’ll finish up with:

Without a ‘formal’ office who are you?

Not sure to be honest.”

Where could you hang out if not your office?

“Outside? I could turn the office into something else?”

What else would you turn it into?

“Lol, a ‘man cave?”

Do you need a man cave? Are you craving more alone time, or would you rather spend more time with Janet?

“No, I don’t need alone time, in fact I often feel lonely in there.”

What do you think Janet is craving Martin?

“I’ve no idea! Truly. She’s been so used to my routine that I’m not sure anymore. (Sighs)”

Then what could you turn it into that doesn’t involve you at all?

“A spare room for the grandchildren if they want to stay? At the moment there are only two spare rooms and when everyone is here on holidays etc the kids have to bunk in with parents or sleep in the lounge and they’re getting a bit old for that now. “(Martin starts to look excited)

What’s your next move Martin?

“I’ll invite the grandchildren around and ask them what they’d want to see in that room for them to hang out here once in a while.”

“I’ll have a chat to Janet to see what she thinks.”

At that point I leave him and keep in touch over the next few weeks.

When we meet again 6 months later lots has changed for Martin.

The room that used to be a bolt hole for him, is now a fun filled room for his grandies with 2 beds.

He hangs out in the rest of the house with Janet more…..

The rest of Martin’s story is unwritten.

If you’d like to have a go at Boomer Breakthrough Transition Coaching, reach out to me and I’ll help you explore what’s next.

One of the least-thought about, aspects of over 80 million Boomers globally leaving the workforce between now and 2026 is what they do next?

Some don’t want to retire, but may have to. Some do want to retire, but can’t envision how they will spend their time. Some want to, but can’t afford to, with rising costs and the financial after effects of Covid.

I predict we will see re-negotiations as Boomers remain on as part-time consultants. We will see a surge of Boomer ‘side-hustles’. We will see certain industries reaching out to Boomers and offering them opportunities to do something different.

Boomer Breakthrough Coaching, can help. Breakthrough Coaching is quite unique. It’s pretty much what it sounds like! It’s not advice, counselling, or therapy. It’s a bit in your face, exploration of possibilities, raising awareness. Big questions.

Contact me for a free, 15-20 minute discovery call or Zoom. 027 668 0067. No hard sell. No obligation. The fee won’t break the bank, and payment plans are available

I’m Stephanie Holloway – the only ANZCAL accredited Master Breakthrough Coach in the whole of South Island, and one of only four in the country.

If you’re interested – I’ll be waiting to hear from you. Cheers Stephanie