By | George Jerjian | www.cnbc.com
In 2007, at age 52, I was forced to retire overnight. An MRI had revealed a tumor, the size of a large eggplant, sitting on my pelvis. In 98% of these cases, my oncologist told me, bone tumors are secondary cancer. He estimated that I had about six months to live.
But after two successful operations, I took a few months to recuperate on crutches and learn how to walk again. After my near-death experience, I had been in retirement for 10 years. I found myself bored, restless and stuck. My enthusiasm and energy diminished. My mental health suffered.
No one else I knew who was retired told me these were things I might experience. But when I shared with them how I felt, they admitted to feeling the same way at times.
That’s when I decided to “un-retire” and launch a mindset coaching company to help people achieve a more fulfilling retirement than I had.
The biggest challenge of retirement
Retirement means different things to different people. I did a deep survey of more than 15,000 retirees over the age of 60, and asked them one question: “What is your single biggest challenge in retirement?”
Below is a small selection of responses I received under the most cited categories:
- “I miss doing the work that I love.”
- “I don’t think retiring is for me. I want to go back to teaching.”
- “I’m not sure what to do with my time. I feel lost.”
- “Keeping my mind healthy and adding value to the world.”
- “Fear of dying in pain and discomfort.”
- “When you’re 70 with a heart condition, you don’t get that many more bites at the apple.”