I am currently surrounded by towering ice and freezing waters, exploring the Antarctica Peninsula on a cruise that I’ve wanted to take for years. The scale of the landscape is so vast, so empty (apart from the penguins & seals) and so awe-inspiring. And it’s humbling to think there is so much more than just what I can see from the boat, both above and below the water.
Needless to say, the sight of an iceberg floating past reminded me of Edward Hall! In 1976, Hall created the iceberg business concept to define the culture of an organisation. His Cultural Iceberg featured:
- Surface culture – visible to the public (perks, people, location)
- Deep culture – not visible to the public (values, attitudes, management, etc)
The iceberg we see only represents 10-20% of the total.
The same principle can be applied to your retirement – what people see (the fun, free time, freedom to travel, etc) is only the visible part of what comprising a fulfilling and purposeful retirement.
What supports an enjoyable retirement?
I share with my retirement coaching clients the following eight areas of retirement:
- Health (Mental and Physical)
- Personal Growth
- Giving Back
It’s no accident that I have put “Financial” last. Many people approaching retirement concentrate so hard on the numbers that when they do retire, they have absolutely no idea of how they are going to spend their time. Without the rest of the areas planned for, a non-planned retirement will drift aimlessly with the currents until the enjoyment starts to melt away.
A balanced approach to retirement
A planned retirement has both structure and balance. You have planned time for what’s important – family, health, friends. You’ve added area that you probably never had time for before – giving back, personal growth, leisure. All of that gives you purpose, and is supported by financial measures such as pensions, put in place many years previously.
Yes, things will land on top of your retirement iceberg that might offset the balance a little. Storms and waves might make it feel unsteady and make it shift direction. But an iceberg is fundamentally buoyant, so it will re-adjust, re-balance, and continue on its journey.
Stuck in a rut?
The largest iceberg in the world, A23a, had been stuck on the seafloor for over 30 years, until it finally lifted and started to drift in 2020. As Chad Greene at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California explained:
“Icebergs this big can hang around for decades in one place, then one day decide to go for a jolly. That’s when things get interesting.”
(You could say the same about work and retirement!)
Bringing retirement planning in from the cold
If you would like to start planning your retirement, or not getting what you wanted out of retirement, call me. I’ll be back from the land of snow and ice mid-February, but you can book your appointment now on my online calendar.
P.S. And yes, I took the photos in the header image. The sun doesn’t always shine on holidays….