Several years ago I bought a book called Women Confronting Retirement: A Nontraditional Guide edited by Nan Bauer-Maglin and Alice Radosh. This book contains the experiences of 38 women of different ages and professions as they reach retirement—or even after they've been retired a while.
What I enjoy about the book is that it reminds me that women are really making it up as they go along these days. Retirement doesn't occur at any set age. Some retire early. Some retire as soon as they are an age to collect Social Security. And still others work for many years after that.
Retirement also doesn't look any one way. It's as individual as the women who plan it and experience it. In fact, many women say they aren't necessarily planning their retirement. They're retiring and then staying open to the possibilities that rise up after retirement. That makes sense because if you plan your retirement while you're still knee-deep in your career, you might either create something that looks a lot like your work life (because you haven't yet learned how to slow down)—or you may go the other extreme and make it so different that it really doesn't suit you either, leaving you bored stiff.
It's extremely difficult to know just what you'll want until you give yourself some time to just "be" after years of a crazy work schedule. However, some women know exactly what they want—and it's a fit from day 1.
Either way, you get to decide. If you want some ideas of how your retirement could look, this book is an interesting read. Or you just may want some coaching time. I've had several clients for whom retirement questions have been the focus. Please contact me if you'd like to talk about it. And remember, I offer a complimentary initial strategy session.