Her plan, his plan, their plan

Alan Spector

By Alan Spector

The premise of my blog posts and of my books, Your Retirement Quest(coauthored with Keith Lawrence) and After the Cheering Stops, is that if you have a life plan for retirement, you greatly increase the odds of living the fulfilling retirement you have worked so hard to deserve.

A critical component of developing that life plan is to have the “crucial conversations” with those closest to you, whether they be a spouse, partner, adult child, aging parent, or friend.  (See my July 10, 2015 blog post, “Crucial conversations”) 

Having these conversations will make a difference for each person involved.  Let’s use an example of a married couple.  Each has thought about what they want to do in retirement.  In the spirit of full disclosure, this example couple is my wife, Ann, and me. 

Ann is passionate about, fully involved in, and committed to the St. Louis Jewish Book Festival, an annual event that is the largest and most successful of its kind.  For two years, she was the festival’s co-chair and continues to be an active committee member, bringing her wisdom and experience to the planning process.  The festival has author events every day for two weeks beginning the first Sunday each November. 

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I am passionate about, fully involved in, and committed to playing baseball for as long as I am able. I play in a summer league and in tournaments in Florida in the winter.  There is an age-group tournament in Fort Myers that overlaps with the book festival.

Over the years, I have fully supported Ann’s book festival passion and thoroughly enjoyed it (have also spoken at the festival twice).  And Ann has fully supported my baseball passion—we’ve literally traveled the world to play baseball.  She has joined me at every tournament from Cooperstown to Coney Island, from Cincinnati to St. Louis, from China to Russia to Italy, from Fort Myers to Jupiter, Florida, and many places in between. 

This year for the first time, we went our separate ways for a couple of weeks.  I joined her for the first few days of the book festival, then headed for Florida to play ball.  Ann stayed in St. Louis and attended every author event for the remainder of the two weeks.

Did we miss each other? Yes.  Are we committed to our own passions and to our retirement life plans? Yes.  And are we supportive of the other’s plan?  Absolutely. 

Whether you are retired or planning for retirement, have the crucial conversations.  Then develop three plans.  In the case of a couple, that would be her plan—his plan—their plan. What will you be doing?  What will your spouse be doing?  What will you be doing together?  

Alan Spector is an author, business consultant, baseball player, traveler, and grandfather.  He has authored six published books, including, with coauthor Keith Lawrence, Your Retirement Quest: 10 Secrets for Creating and Living a Fulfilling Retirement (www.YourRetirementQuest.com).  Alan and Keith conduct workshops across the country helping prospective and current retirees plan the non-financial aspects of their retirement—to make the rest of their lives the best of their lives. Alan’s latest two books are Body Not Recovered, a work of historical fiction from the Vietnam War/Protest Movement era, and After the Cheering Stops, which helps both elite athletes and baby boomers create a winning retirement game plan.