The Threshold Generation – A Magic Wand Question

Have you ever sat down with your financial planner and asked them, “Based on my current finances how many more years until I can retire?” A few years back I did, at West Financial, when I was working as an Executive Search Recruiter and was quite surprised by their answer.

All that changed several years ago when the economy went downhill, and if you can believe it, my recruiting specialty was in Commercial Real Estate – a double whammy! I would have been perfectly happy headhunting until I retired but chose to transition my skills and enroll in an Executive Leadership Development and Coaching program. That led me to spreading my entrepreneurial wings and becoming a Career Coach.

I came up with a “magic wand” Career Coaching question and now ask it to baby boomers 45 to 65 years old where I actually pull a colorful wand out of my purse and say, “If you knew you had 5, 10, 15 to 18 years until you could afford to retire could you see yourself working at the exact same job in the same position?”

If your answer is “Maybe or no,” it may be due to feeling burned out having done the same occupation for 20, 30 or 40 years or when you get up every morning you no longer “click your heels” in anticipation for going to work.

The downturn in the economy has effected most of us so that we have had to move our threshold or push up our retirement date due, to the fact that our financial net worth has gone down. Our dreams of retiring at 55, 60, 65 and today even 70 years old is now on hold until we feel we can better afford it, thus creating the term “The Threshold Generation”, which was introduced by a PEW study in 9/10.

According to a 2010 article: 4 Signs You Are Ready For A Career Change, the Gallup Organization released a study which showed that 29% of the US working population is engaged in their work, meaning that these workers feel passionate about what they do. Sadly, 16% are actively disengaged while 55% are just not engaged.

Did you fall into your career path, being influenced by parents, a spouse or general family pressure, not really giving it much thought as to what would really excite you?
Doing a little soul searching today can pay off big time in your professional, personal life as well as mapping out future retirement plans.

Don’t feel stuck. Realize you have choices. Do-it-yourself, seek out support from colleagues for feedback, or seek outside unbiased help and support from a professional. Take an assessment of your Values, your Skills, your Personality (how you make decisions), your Interests (areas of enjoyment, hobbies) and your Career/Lifestyle is the key.

You can go on-line and take free assessments,, or use A certified Career Coach can provide assessments to identify your strengths such as the Myers Briggs, Strong Interest, Values Card Sort, SkillScan, and Career/Lifestyle. Having an independent interpretation and putting the results all together and can make all the difference in the world.

You deserve to find your passion and believe you are awesome, no matter what age!

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One Response to The Threshold Generation – A Magic Wand Question

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