A proven, exciting Retirement planning process for individuals and couples, The Best-Half is a combination of workshops, coaching and personal reflection. It was developed by experienced coaches and educators. For organizations, The Best-Half is a process to be used in succession management especially for transitions and to establish common goals and objectives in the senior phases of a career.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Why Planning for the future using Magical Thinking isn’t going to work

In Joan Didion’s 2005 book, The Year of Magical Thinking, she recounts the year after her husband John Gregory Dunne died suddenly from cardiac arrest. Magical thinking is when a person hopes for something enough or performs the right actions that an unavoidable event can be averted. In Dideon’s case this included not giving away a pair of her husband’s shoes – insisting he will need them when he comes back.
The term Magical Thinking came up in a recent article by Gordon Powers titled; The new reality in retirementMSN Money.ca June 7, 2011. The article outlines the current crisis baby boomers are having with their inability to project both the financial resources they have and the costs they will need for the future. Unlike the retirement of our grandparents, today’s boomers will live longer, have less access to pensions and be healthier. They find themselves over stressed, depressed and obsessed with the need for answers. A recent Best-Half client expressed it this way:  “finally we have reached a stage in our life where no one is telling us what to do and it’s just when we need help figuring out what to do.” This is where the Magical Thinking comes in, says David Ramirez co-author of the report Powers references.
"Many [who participated in the survey] resorted to magical thinking, believing that everything would work out in the end, or that they could continue working indefinitely without having to adjust their standard of living."
When in doubt, doing nothing isn’t going to work.
The very first step in participating in our Best-Half process involves taking the Kolbe A Assessment. As the coach, this gives us a foundation to assist our clients in discovering their perfect future. For the client, understanding how they take action and how their partner takes action, helps them understand how to communicate, set goals and develop respect for differing modes of operation/perspective.
Having the knowledge of a client’s Kolbe instincts provides key information how the client will create a vision and a plan for the future. An initiating Fact Finder who prevents in Quick Start (maintains stability)will be doing their research and taking calculated risks. An initiating Follow-thru will put a detailed plan together and want concrete goals and time lines. Initiating Quickstarts will need to explore their options in ways that work for them. Initiating Implementors will work in the “here and now” resisting the suggestion to look way out in the future.
The privilege as a coach, of assisting in developing a road map for the future rarely involves discussions of a financial nature. Often clients will seek out the financial answers they need as a result of a clearer picture unfolding regarding the future. In our experience it has never been the other way around by making their money help to achieve their dreams.

The outcomes that occur when an individual or a couple realize their perfect future comes from thought, discussion, conversation reflection and action - and that’s the magical part. 


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