All the Way, from "Soup to Nuts"

A Comprehensive List of Steps in Retirement following the Charting Your Personal Future Framework--with a special note about "Planned Happenstance"

Robert Conyne

2021-03-17 4 min read


                                                                                               "All the Way from Soup to Nuts"

      We borrow and apply the expression, "all the way from soup to nuts," which literally means from beginning to end, completely, exhaustively to the Charting Your Personal Future framework of retirement.  What follows is a summary of the more concrete steps contained across the four compass points:  Review, Dream, Plan, and Engage.  Use this information to help guide your evolution to and through the retirement process.  Maybe pay particular attention to the concept of "Planned Happenstance."



         Personal Domain

 Who are you (Identity)?

 Why are you here (Purpose)?

 Where are you headed (Goals)?

 What do you hope for your legacy?

 How is your physical health?

 How is your mental health? 

 What role (if any) does religion or spirituality play?

 What are your attributes, values, skills, and interests?

 What are your deficits?

 How are your existing relationships?  Open to new ones?

 What is your risk/safety ratio?

 How might you spend more available time?

 What do you enjoy doing?

 Are hobbies part of your life?  In retirement?

 What is your attitude about retirement?

 What do you imagine might "remain" after you retire?

       Environmental Domain

 How secure are your finances (be sure to consult with financial planner)?

 How is your level of social support, your connections with others?

 What is available to you in your profession/career/discipline going forward?

 Do you want to continue to work at all in retirement?  How much?  How long?

 What opportunities may await (possible work, relaxation, recreation)?

 How do you feel about where, and how, you live?  Move?  Downsize or stay as is?

 What role does family play in your life?

 Integrate this Personal and Environmental Review information:  What does it say about you and your situation?  



 Focus on nothing, “Let it be”

 Visualize information from Review

 Visualize the concept, “My Retirement”

 Tune into imagination: What images, shapes, colors, energy bubble up?

 Tune into affect: What feelings bubble up?

 Tune into thoughts: What ideas bubble up?

 Explore: Read, travel, view movies and travelogues, talk with others…

 Imagine what’s possible

 What might be your dream retirement?  Where might you be?  Doing what?

 What might a “Day in Your Life” look like?

 Be aware of any clarifying directions over time

 Write down those directions

 Repeat this sequence several times


 Integrate Review and Dream information

Loosely follow a planning chart, with the next 7 steps:

     -Develop a retirement mission statement, which is the central feature of your retirement

      -Identify goals to fulfill that mission

     - For each goal:  Break out steps to accomplish each goal

     - For each step:  Set a timeline

      -For each step:  Identify resources needed

      -For each step:  Identify available opportunities

      -For each goal:  Set criteria for success:  How will you tell if you have reached goals?

 Overall:  Be open to feedback all along the way

 Overall:  Be open to plan revision

 Always be open to innovation and change:  Be alert, aware, and available.

***Always allow for "Planned Happenstance," see below (John Krumboltz) 


 Alternative approach:  Avoid specific planning and trust your intuition--“Go with the Flow.”



 Retirement, Day 1 on: Apply your Plan with flexibility, as needed

 Anticipate experiencing Freedom early on

 Anticipate experiencing Let Down after a few months

 Reorient/Adapt  your charted course to better fit changing circumstances

 Anticipate Guided Gliding for several years, where routines  and experiences play out ageeably, but also setbacks will occur

 Reintegrate/Reconciliate/Reflect toward the end of retirement/life:  "What have I learned along the way?"


***Planned Happenstance If nothing else, the future is unpredictable. Most retirees experience unexpected shifts and opportunities.  While we might plan, life typically does not progress in a linear fashion.  Stuff happens!  Usually what we didn’t expect – health is a wildcard at the best of times, as in 2020 a pandemic might strike (who knew?), available financial resources may change suddenly, a new opportunity may appear almost from "out-of-the-blue," etc.   Be open to change, be flexible, and be prepared to adapt any plans as you engage in retirement.

 NOTES:  Record any observations and results in this space