Retirement Momentum

The #1 Reason Retirees Lose Momentum

How to Let Go of the Past and Move Forward During Life Transitions

Remember the old Tarzan movies? Or, maybe for you, it was George of the Jungle. Our hero was always being chased by the bad guys or rushing to save someone from sure disaster. Rather than calling for Uber, he leaped from a tall tree, grabbed a vine, swung mightily to the next vine, and used his momentum to continue the process until he made it to his destination.

I always imagined what would happen if he didn’t let go of the first vine as he reached for the next one. He would dangle from both vines with no momentum. I can envision him stalled high in the treetops, with a vine in each hand, kicking his feet, struggling to regain his forward progress. He would use all his energy just to get going again and, consequently, he would fail his mission.

Losing Vision and Purpose in Retirement

Does this ever happen to you? Failing to let go of the last vine as you swing to the next vine? Retirees—and lots of other people—cling to the wrong vine during major life transitions. We refuse to let go of the past as we try to move toward the future. Consequently, we find ourselves clinging to both vines—the past and the future—and we lose all our momentum.

As we age, our past and the future often come into conflict. We start seeing our futures as smaller and finite. Our past, being much bigger in terms of years, feels comfortable and hard to leave. But focusing on the regrets of missed opportunities drags us backward, and trying to relive our past successes leaves us feeling hopeless. We lose vision and a sense of purpose as we face the unknown. No wonder we don’t want to fully release the vines of yesterday as we tentatively reach for tomorrow.

How to Find Forward-Moving Wisdom

One of the best ways to overcome this reluctance is to relook at our past through the lens of wisdom. The parts of the past that we normally cling to are its emotions, not its facts. Our feelings about what happened before sometimes overwhelm the facts. The secret to progress is to mine these emotions for wisdom, looking for the lessons we learned that we can repurpose into helpful knowledge that moves us forward.

We have all said, “If I had only known then, what I know now.” Well, here’s your chance. When you feel the emotions of the past taking control, stop and ask yourself, “What did I learn through that experience that I can use now?”


Ready to look at your past through the lens of wisdom?

Retirement Life Plan Online Workshop

Discover how your past can shape an impactful future. Check out my new online Encore Curve Life Plan Workshop.


About the author – Andy Raub is known as “America’s Encore Coach” because of his passion to help retirees repurpose their lives and reorganize their money. An early Baby-Boomer, he has been a financial advisor for 35 years, bald for 40 years, and husband to Jean for 49 years. Andy has the skill of a teacher, the insight of a writer, and the heart of a coach. He is “Dandy” to four teenage grandchildren, Dad to two daughters, and irritant to two sons-in-law. Andy is the author of the new book The Encore Curve – How to Retire with a Life Plan That Excites You and the founder of the Encore Curve Program. See how the Encore Curve process can help you clarify your life and simplify your money at EncoreCurve.com.

image_pdfSave PDFimage_printPrint Page

Tags: , , ,

Tell Us What You Think