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Transitioning into retirement? Retirement coaching unpacked…

Posted By Marilynh / September 11, 2017 / 0 Comments

Retirement is arguably the biggest life transition you will ever have
Without adequate preparation and understanding, the transition to retirement can lead to major challenges



You are probably very familiar with working with a Financial Advisor who has navigated you through the complex investing and saving choices in your financial life.  When you consider that you could spend a third of your life in retirement, isn’t it worth considering approaching a Retirement Coach.  Retirement is arguably the biggest life transition you will ever have.    A Retirement Coach focusses on the challenges and opportunities of retirement.  A Retirement Coach can really help people through the transition of retirement.  

Why do I need a Retirement Coach?

Are you approaching retirement, or recently retired?  Do you have a plan for life in retirement?  A Retirement Coach will help you find your sense of purpose, help you identify what is important to you, measure personal success, ask you tough questions about life and death, regrets or forgotten dreams.  A Retirement Coach will assist you in finding humanitarian efforts, entrepreneurial adventures, or even artistic pursuits that you hadn’t considered before.  A Retirement Coach will help you find value in how you spend your time.

It is our experience, that without adequate preparation and understanding, the transition to retirement can create a discontinuity that often leads to shock and denial, anger, frustration and sometimes, even depression. 40% of new retirees suffer from depression.

What to consider, and the questions to ask, when choosing a Retirement Coach

Retirement Coach Training

Does the coach have professional training and accreditation? Has your coach been certified by a reputable college or institute?

Retirement Coach Experience

How long has he/she been coaching, for how many hours, and is he/she full time or part time? Does his/her resume and referrals provide evidence of that experience?

Rapport with The Retirement Coach

An important aspect in how to choose a retirement coach is to ask yourself – Would you like to work with this person over an extended period? Do you think you could have a confidential conversation with him/her? Is there a particular personality style that you would prefer your coach to have?

The Retirement Coach Listens

Listening is at the heart of good communication and rapport. Does the coach give you his/her full attention, ask powerful questions, and give effective feedback? Will you have an opportunity to assess this in a trial session? (See below)

The Style of the Retirement Coach

Coaching may be Directive, in other words –giving instructions and/or advice or Non Directive –helping the client to solve their own problem.  Find out what the coach’s style is, and ask yourself –  how do you want to be coached?  Are you happy to be challenged and held accountable for your actions?

Retirement Coach Ethics

Find out if the coach is following an appropriate code of ethics?

Retirement Coach Supervision

Does the coach have a relationship with a suitably qualified mentor/supervisor, who regularly assesses his or her competence and support his or her development?

Retirement Coach Website

Find out if the coach has a website; find out if she or he has published articles? These sources will give you valuable insights into the style and experience of the coach.

Method of Coaching – one-to-one, skype, face-time, email?

Your coach does not necessarily have to live in the same town or city as you?  Successful coaching sessions can be had on the telephone, via Skype and by email?  What is your preference?  Perhaps you would prefer face-to-face coaching.  Consider the advantages and disadvantages of all kinds of coaching.  Perhaps trial both. 

Check if your coach offers a Coaching Agreement?

A coaching agreement should be formalised in a written document.  The agreement sets the tone of the relationship and clarifies expectations.  It should cover fees, the duration of the coaching sessions, the frequency of meetings and the scheduling of appointments.  Also clarify what kind of contact you can have with the coach via telephone or email outside of the formal coaching sessions.

Trial Retirement Coaching Session

Most coaches will offer you a free introductory session.  This will give you the opportunity to find out whether you are comfortable with the coach, evaluate the coach’s style and find out whether there is a “fit” between you and your prospective coach. 


To view YEI’s Directory of Life and Retirement Coaches:

  • Go to YEI Directory on YEI homepage
  • Click on “Retirement Coaches” in the All Categories box
  • Click on “All Locations” in the Locations box
  • Click on Search

Recommended further reading:

Finding your sense of purpose in retirement – click here

Email to a friend/colleague
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