“What is a retirement coach?” asked Susan at a recent networking event. I was stunned. Isn’t it pretty self-explanatory? Coaching is a relatively new profession; I get that. Many people are not completely sure if they can trust “coaching” unless you are wearing a whistle and they are running around. Business gurus (like Tony Robbins) suggest that we all should get a coach. In fact, he is NOW a coach himself! There are all types of coaching: executive, life, financial, athletic, career, skills, and performance. So why not retirement coach?
I was thrilled when I was studying to be a retirement coach. I had “coached” and mentored unofficially (meaning I was not certified to coach or mentor) for years. Coaching is a profession because of the certifications but a coach does not NEED a certification to go into business as a coach. This is similar to the workplace training profession. I know many trainers who have their own business, “hang their shingle” and attract many customers. Many are not certified as trainers (CPLP). When the certification came out in 2003, I was one of the first in line. Education is very important to me. Experience is very important to me. When I was selecting a business coach, I chose the one that I deemed knowledgable and skillful; Sheri Kaye Hoff. She has a Ph.D and many coaching certificates. She never stops learning and is always one step ahead of me. That is what a coach should be!
Now, I was asked by Susan, “How can you be a retirement coach when you have never retired?” Good question Susan. I explained to her that I am certified. I studied, I took a test, and I practiced. Plus, I LOVE and have studied/researched older adults. I wrote my dissertation about people who are retired (Older Adults Learning Online Technologies: A Qualitative Case Study of the Experience and the Process). I have experience, education and a certification. She seemed a bit amazed when she asked me, “So, why did you get certified when you already had a Ph.D.? I get that question often – not just with retirement coaching but in general. Why did you get your certification in workplace performance when you already had your Ph.D. in Adult Learning?
When hiring a coach, a trainer or any service professional be sure they know what they are doing! That seems like wise advice but so many people do not take this into account when they are “shopping” for support. I want my tax person to be a CPA. I want my electrician to have education and experience – why not my coach? Why not my retirement coach? Shouldn’t our coaches be the most experienced, knowledgable and educated? According to retirement options.com, people spend more time planning vacations than planning for retirement. Sure, most of us plan financially but not for our psycho – social well-being.
We need to consider so many options when we retire. Where will we live in retirement? Where should we get our first house then plan our second move if we need long term care? How do we wish to socialize and with whom? How do we feel about time management? Are you a morning person and your spouse a night owl? Sure, when we are working there are not as many issues; we get into a pattern. We are used to our routine. Did your work define your life or do you have another purpose to your life? A retirement coach can help you answer these questions and more. But remember, choose a certified retirement coach. A coach with experience and knowledge.
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Lori Ann Roth, Ph.D., CPLP, is the President of Learning and… She is a life-long learner and self-awareness expert who is dedicated to helping individuals and teams learn so that they can be their best. “Be the best YOU” is one of her favorite sayings. She is a creative and experienced learning and development professional who has been in the field for over 35 years and loves to help adults learn by facilitating a fun yet educational experience. Lori has transformed individuals and teams to be more productive, communicate better and solve problems faster through assessments such as the MBTI, DiSCÒ, StrengthsfinderÓ and Emotional Intelligence (EQ-i). She is a certified retirement coach.