Thinking about your retirement lifestyle can be a daunting experience at first. Imagining what your life will be like after retirement is filled with unknowns. Even people with great self-confidence or self-assurance can find that the thought of life after retirement creates uneasiness or even anxiety. If you are a Baby Boomer, you are probably beginning to think about what your life will be like after retirement.

Easing anxiety is a matter of preparing for retirement in ways that build confidence in your future. Reducing uncertainties and knowing where you are going will reduce anxiety and build confidence. Planning and preparing now for your retirement lifestyle will build the confidence you need and build the foundation for a fulfilling retirement lifestyle. Baby Boomers can develop more self-confidence with these five tips about planning and preparation for a happy and fulfilling post-retirement lifestyle.

1. Realistically analyze your financial situation. Many Baby Boomers are facing life after retirement with a financial base that is totally different from that of their parents. The pension plans that ensure their financial security in retirement are largely gone today. It is important to be realistic about your financial needs and security in the future. Here are a few of the questions you need to ask yourself:
§ Do I need to work after “retirement” to provide immediate financial support?
§ Do I need to work after “retirement” to build an emergency fund or a nest egg?
§ Do I feel confident of financial security for twenty or thirty years?
§ Do I have an adequate emergency medical fund or adequate insurance?
§ Do I have the money set aside to do the important things I want to do after “retirement”?
§ Is it important to leave a financial legacy? Is it in place and secure?

2. Plan to pursue your passions. Pursuing your passions after “retirement” is what will create a fulfilling and exciting life. What are the passions and dreams you want to pursue in your second phase of life? Do you want to start your own business? Do you want to find a way to give back to society? Do you want to start a second career? Do you want to teach or mentor? You need to think about the things you want to do that will fill your life with excitement and pizzazz. Whether your passions involve working, travel, volunteering, developing skills into a profitable hobby, starting a business or traveling the globe, chances are that you will not just fall into a situation that will position you to pursue your passions. But by planning, developing skills, learning, and putting the structures and support systems in place in advance, you can comfortably and smoothly transition into a lifestyle built around pursuing your passions in life. You can “fire up” your life by pursuing your passions!

3. Plan where and how you will live. It will create a surprising amount of self-confidence about your future if you decide and plan for where you want to live. It is also important to be realistic about what you can afford and about what your needs will be over time. Many of us want to age in place – to stay in our homes as we grow older. But this is just not possible for everyone. There is home and yard maintenance to consider, both in terms of costs and activity. Many of us live in homes that will become increasingly difficult to manage as we grow older because of stairs, etc. It is also important to think about how you will get help with household chores if you should become unable to do things for yourself. And it is important to consider whether you will be socially isolated by remaining in your home. Will you be happier in an apartment complex? Do you want the peace and quiet of a complex for people 55 and over? Do you want the assurance of care provided by progressive or continuing care communities? Will you move in with your children at some point? Will one of your children or grandchildren move in with you? Is the location close to the activities you want to pursue? Deciding where and how you will live in the second phase of life will be the basis of your self-confidence as “retirement” approaches.

4. Start now learning and developing skills you will need. Whether you plan to work, start a business, take up a hobby, teach or volunteer, you might feel the need to develop some skills or learn new things. Starting this learning process before retirement builds confidence in the future in several ways:
§ The cost of training or instruction will be paid while you are still working and have more disposable income.
§ The training or instruction will build your confidence in your ability to do what you want to do after retirement.
§ Your transition into your planned retirement lifestyle will be easier, faster and smoother because you will simply step from one thing to the next at your desired pace.
§ You will build increasing confidence that “this will work”
The knowledge that you have the new skills and the transferable skills to do the things you want to do in the second phase of life will reduce anxiety on many fronts – finances, happiness, security, meaningful activity. In addition, all learning makes people feel more self-confident as they look to the future.

5. Create a plan. Nothing you can do will build greater self-confidence about your life after retirement than having a plan for what you want your life to be and how you will get from where you are now to where you want to be in the second phase. Your plan doesn’t have to be elaborate and it doesn’t have to look like a corporate strategic plan. You just need to think realistically and creatively about how you want to live your life, what you will need to support it, and how to get from where you are now to where you need to be to have that lifestyle.

If you follow these five tips -- Realistically analyze your financial situation, plan to pursue your passions, plan where and how you will live, start now learning and developing skills you will need, and create a plan – you will be well on the way to more self-confidence in the future. Whether you are a Baby Boomer or not, following these five tips will make you more self-confident about your future.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Cynthia Barnett is an author, teacher, life coach and a leading authority on how to “re-fire” and reinvent by making the rest of your life the best of your life. For more articles and tips on how to rejuvenate yourself in retirement visit