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Youre here. Youre retired. Now What?

Youve dreamed about this day for years. Some days the only thing that kept you going was the thought that one day you would finally be able to retire at the beach. Well here you are, youre free to do whatever you want and living at the beach in Coastal Delaware. Now what?

I thought I would ask some of my Boomer clients that have recently retired and moved here. Then I started looking through my database to find retirees to interview. Almost all of my clients are Boomers and I was curious to find out how they were adjusting. What I found was just how diverse this Boomer generation is because we all approach retirement differently. Its not your parents retirement, to paraphrase an Oldsmobile commercial.

One group that has always gravitated to Coastal Delaware is from the DC Metropolitan area. If they have worked for the Federal government their entire career, the leading edge Boomer can now retire with full benefits. When they leave the Beltway behind and relocate to their dream home at the beach, what is life like?

I asked one client who made the move in 2008. When she first thought about relocating, she told me, she planned to look for another job a government job. She thought about looking at Dover Air Force Base or perhaps one of the local libraries. That would be a good way to slow down a little and take it from there. Retire? For several years she thought about it; she wasnt sure she was ready. When I was really honest, she told me, I was ready for a change and I was really was ready to retire. It took 4 months to de-stress and realize just how burned out I was. I have gotten to know this client quite well and she is not one of those government execs that were content to say Im the Director and leave it at that. She wanted to accomplish something right up to the last minute in office and leave a legacy.

However, she didnt want to do what she saw so many others do jump right into volunteer activities or a part time job until she could get acclimated and find a good match. While looking for a meaningful volunteer experience, she decided to join a gym. She met a whole group of other people that had decided to take advantage of this new-found time to get into better shape. We all know that it wasnt always easy to make time for yourself when your career was at its peak and the kids needed your every available minute. Now that you can make your own priority list its okay to put yourself first.

Pursue your passion

What else has this Type-A executive found time to do in retirement? She is taking a painting class and enjoying it immensely. There hasnt been time for painting in a very long time and she always wanted to get back to it now she can and it doesnt even matter how good she is. Shes reading books that had piled high on the end table.

She and her husband are also exploring their new home state of Delaware. Its a beautiful state, she told me. Have you seen the Cypress Swamp at Trap Pond State Park? Have you been to Gordons Pond? They have seen more of Coastal Delaware in one year than many locals. Her husband has been taking Spanish classes and recently asked me Como esta usted? Will either of them take a new job or decide to volunteer for a particular organization or charity? Perhaps in time, but for now they are both enjoying all the things they never had time for in the past.

I got a similar but slightly different story from another client. He and his wife relocated to Lewes about the same time late 2008. He didnt exactly retire, but he changed companies and became more of a consultant than a full-time executive. Hes got the kind of personality that makes friends instantly and he has done the same since moving here.

Slow Down

Slower Lower Delaware, he said, lives up to its name. I take everything a little slower. I was in New Jersey and St Pete, Florida last week and it was good to get back. The fishing is great - I go almost every morning at day break for about an hour or so. I come home, get cleaned up and go to work. I still work (out of my home) but somehow it doesn't feel like work. The seafood (and food in general) is great here with a lot of choices. The people are friendly. If there is any culture shock and adjustment it is all good. I have never been happier.

Fishing seems to be one way to slow down and transition from full time career mode to semi-retirement or just a new way of living and working. Maybe thats what all Boomers will find when they move to Coastal Delaware a better more balanced life with more time to enjoy the important things. Sounds good to me!

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