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How To Ensure You Receive Value From A Retirement Coach

How To Ensure You Receive Value From A Retirement Coach

By Susan Williams

We keep hearing about how retirement is changing.

And it’s true. Given our extended longevity, retirement can now potentially last between 20 to 30 years.

So the idea of spending this amount of time doing some of the traditional activities that used to make up retirement is not appealing to many people.

So what do you plan to do with all this time?

If you are unsure, this is where a Retirement Coach may be able to help.

In this Learning Bites episode, we are joined by one of our ongoing contributors Joe Casey. Joe is a certified Retirement Coach and Co-Principal at Retirement Wisdom. The last time Joe joined us, he shared with us what a retirement coach does. In this segment, Joe shares with us some suggestions on how to ensure that we get the most value from a working relationship with a retirement coach.

Also Watch: Could You Use A Retirement Coach?

Here is our discussion;

Here are some of the highlights of our conversation;

How To Begin A Working Relationship With A Retirement Coach

  • First begin to consider why do you want to engage a retirement coach. Many people are interested in hiring a coach because they are interested in getting more out of this next phase of their life. They are not interested in withdrawing and are looking to create a retirement that is authentic to them.
  • Joe suggests speak with at least three different retirement coaches. You will also want to do your homework on their training and experience. You want someone who has had multiple clients and multiple years in this field.
  • Joe also suggests asking for a free session as this way you can learn a lot about how they will work with you. You will want to ensure that you hire someone that can both support and challenge you. Most coaches will clearly provide their support (that is typically a coach’s nature) but you also want to make sure you engage with someone who will help you learn and help you extend out of your comfort zone. Chances are the things that were most valuable in life are the things where you pushed or challenged yourself somewhat.

What Are Some The Signs You Are Getting Value From A Retirement Coach?

To make sure that you are getting value, Joe recommends looking at these five things;

  1. Look at how focused the coach is on your agenda.
  2. Are they engaging you in interactive learning. Are they giving you assignments to get you involved?
  3. Are they helping you to see things differently? Are they helping to expand your thinking?
  4. Are they helping you explore new options?
  5. Are they helping you move forward? Are they helping you experiment and take steps forward?

Also Joe suggests to give this working relationship some reasonable time in order to appropriately assess your progress. Joe suggests that halfway through the number of sessions you have committed to working with them, step back and evaluate it to see if you’re getting what you need.

What Should You Do If You Don’t Believe You’re Getting Value?

If you do not believe you are getting value, the very first thing to do is to have a conversation with the coach. Be very clear about what you would like to see more of and what you would like to see less of.

Then the most important thing is to watch and listen very carefully to how the coach responds. Are they open or are they defensive? Are they curious about what’s not working and interested in figuring out ways to make it better? Or are they rigid and double down in how they do their process?

At the end of the day, are they willing to pivot? Coaches that have a robust tool kit likely will be able to and suggest other ways to do things. Whereas coaches that are limited in their training will probably have a hard time.

If you’re really not getting what you need then explore other options. The next time you will be a much more educated consumer. There are many other coaches available. Also, remember that even if the chemistry is good, you are not hiring a friend you are hiring a coach to help you do something.

Other Suggestions On Hiring A Retirement Coach

Joe suggests you do some initial thinking about what you need. You don’t have to have it all sorted out but have an idea on what you would like to explore to start. This will evolve.

Also, invest in the homework. A lot of the work and progress is made in between the sessions.

Finally, take ownership. If your coach isn’t doing a checkin after three sessions, then initiate one yourself and tell them what’s working well and what may work better. Express your point of view and also listen to the coach’s perspective of how things are progressing.

On average, the typical person has six sessions. Some go further to twelve but Joe believes that within six sessions you should have a good plan of action in place by that time.

So, if you are wanting to move into something new in retirement but could possibly use some support in doing this a Retirement Coach may be able to help. Like any service you may hire, be sure to do your research and ensure that who you are hiring is experienced and skilled, has the necessary process(es) and is able to both support and challenge you.

They may then be able to help shift your thinking about retirement from strictly as being retiring from something to actually retiring to something.

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Susan Williams is the Founder of Booming Encore. Being a Boomer herself, Susan loves to discover and share ways to live life to the fullest. She shares her experiences, observations and opinions on living life after 50 and tries to embrace Booming Encore's philosophy of making sure every day matters.