Linda Mayer. Chateau Owner and Retreat Facilitator.
The power of My Game Plan is best told through people’s stories who’ve completed the program. Here’s Linda’s story….
I first met Nick (Retire on Purpose founder) in 2006, when I was Organisational Development Director of Coca-Cola Australia. I engaged him to run a wellbeing program for the business. It was a great success, so I then kept hiring Nick as I moved organisations. After moving to Switzerland and working for a global organisation, in 2019, I was seeking someone to create a holistic retirement program for our business. Once again I called Nick and flew him over to work with the team. Six months later, after we’d co-created the program, it was piloted and I joined the first group to try it out.
My husband and I had moved to Europe thinking it would be for 5 years and then we’d go to Asia and then home. We loved living in Europe so much we were extending our time and wondering what we should do long term. So on a personal level, I was ready to explore my next stage of life and see if what I was thinking really was a go for it idea!
My Game Plan, as a program, gave us the creative thinking space to really test the ideas we had and challenge ourselves on the plan. The program was the best one I had ever been on. I gained so much insight into myself and where I was really at in life. I was working in corporate to play it safe and I guess balancing that with mini breaks and treats to make up for the fact I was unsatisfied at work.
My goals for how I wanted to live and treat others were at times in conflict with the day to day decisions I made. I wanted to break free but was concerned about leaving the paycheque and security behind to take a risk. The output of My Game Plan was a template I could work with. And because of it’s simplicity, I could easily involve my husband in the journey.
Together we discussed our ideas and mapped out our future plans. After the program ended, we were so excited to have a clear roadmap and the freedom to move forward with our dreams and live without the stress my role was putting on me.
We fell in love with Bordeaux after a search across Europe on where we wanted to settle. We purchased our Chateau in February 2020 and had hoped to renovate it and open 5 bedrooms as a Bed and Breakfast by July that year. Of course Covid hit us like everyone. We had our testing moments, but reflecting and knowing this was our new purpose, we remained calm with the setback and ploughed ahead with the construction work regardless.
During the Purpose lesson in My Game Plan, I was reminded that helping others is a core value of mine and that this was a big reason to venture out on my own. I learned about the benefits of living in alignment with my values, so when I came across a website called Workaway I felt excited. The site allows people to volunteer their time in exchange for a bed and food. We embraced this and engaged 30 volunteers, aged from 18 to 72, to help us renovate the chateau. It’s been an amazing adventure. The stories from our 55+ volunteers were inspiring. I talked a lot to them about Retire on Purpose and they all had the same response.
‘You definitely need to have a game plan for retirement and then execute it’.
One couple had been volunteering for 4 years and had lived all over Europe doing projects. They retired before their pension date and decided to wonder the earth. We connected and felt so much common ground, that they will return to us again for winter to look after our Chateau while we travel.
By applying the lessons learned in the program, we have created a new way of working and living, which is fuelled by purpose and brings us real joy. I am writing this story in May 2022, after having just hosted our first wedding at the Chateau. We had 52 guests and it’s been an amazing event.
My advice to anyone is you are not wishing your life away to plan for your retirement. I call it my ‘career after my career’ and it is truly a magical time in life. From my time working in HR, I know that many people avoid it and are almost frightened of it. By embracing it, you will find you cannot wait for it to happen. For me, having a plan meant I no longer felt trapped. You cannot imagine what you can unlock within yourself unless you give yourself the space and time to allow it to surface.
So if you’re thinking about your retirement and have any doubts about it, my simple advice is to sign up. Get started and then share your ideas and plans with your partner and others you know. My Game Plan has been a truly precious gift for me and my husband and we’re loving our new way of life.
Linda Mayer. Chateau Owner and Retreat Facilitator. Ex-Organisational Development Director.
Retire on Purpose was created to support men and women who are transitioning from the end of their careers into retirement. Our two programs pose all the questions you need to transition successfully. My Legacy helps you find, recruit and mentor your successor, so you can leave behind your professional legacy. And My Game Plan helps you build a holistic roadmap for your retirement so you can retire with a fresh sense of purpose and peace of mind that the new life you are stepping into, is actually the one you want to be living.
This essential 10 minute read is great for anyone who's thinking about retirement or has recently retired. Get your copy here.