Roadtest: Create retirement success seminar

by 04 Sep 2007

Being aged under 40, I have to admit that I stood out a little at the SageCo Create retirement success seminar that I road tested recently. However, despite not being the target demographic, this proved no barrier to the session being both interesting and informative to me as well.

Although the session I attended was a public one, it was also clear to me the in-house seminars available would be seen as a real positive step by employers towards bridging the widening gap between their current and required understanding of the needs of mature-aged workers.

Research conducted by SageCo shows that 78 per cent of mature employees are ill-prepared for their future retirement.

SageCo’s Create seminars are designed as educational events aimed at motivating attendees and assisting them in making informed decisions about their futures. The session I attended was interactive and engaging, and designed to meet the needs of experienced, mature executives and staff, but a ‘blue-collar’ version is also available.

During the four-hour session I attended, participants were taken on a journey through their life to explore their level of preparedness for the future in relation to career planning, health and wellbeing, finances, image, relationships and life goals. Make no mistake, such sessions are aimed at dispelling the traditional notions of retirement and instead encourage individuals to think about a period of redirection.

This is obvious from the outset, with the facilitator describing herself as a “failed” retiree, who started the session by describing how she set off on the dream permanent holiday only to discover six months later that she pretty well hated being retired, and had not dissimilar thoughts about her husband with whom she had been cooped up with on a yacht for six months.

Participants are given time to pause along their journey to consider the personal goals they can set to re-energise and create positive new directions for the future.

The session I attended included guest speakers on topics including finance and health and wellbeing, both of which were extremely well-received by the audience with both guests suffering a barrage of questions, a sure-fire indicator that their content had hit the mark.

The Create seminar is particularly relevant to executives, managers and staff aged fifty and over.

From an organisational perspective, in-house sessions would provide a highly visible, positive and cost-effective way to creatively address retirement planning. As the session is designed to be empowering, it only follows that a boost in the morale, engagement and retention of mature employees would follow.

The session also provides organisations with a tangible demonstration of commitment to diversity and social responsibility, as well as the more obvious positioning of an organisation as an age-positive employer.

For individual participants, the session serves as an acknowledgement that their experience and maturity is valued. It also delivers an opportunity to reflect and set goals across key aspects of life and identify the level of planning and action required for a successful redirection. Importantly, the session provided attendees with a framework upon which future decision-making can occur.

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