Got a long list of what you want to learn in life after career? Kicking around in retirement feeling something is missing? This issue of the Next in Life newsletter is all about learning and growing.

That’s what I’ve been doing for the last three months — taking Next in Life Transition and Retirement Consulting to a new level through total immersion in a global program. Meeting people from the UK to India to my backyard in Victoria, BC, has been energizing. I have been pushed to learn new technologies and dig deeper into my own limiting beliefs. Yes, coaches are constantly doing personal work, so their own crap doesn’t get in the way of the client’s experience.

Time to Lean into Learning

You’re invited to a free webinar! Thursday, March,18, 2021, 10:00am to 11:30 am Pacific Time.

What will you do with 168 hours a week after retirement? Why are you retiring anyway? Partnering with the United Way of Greater Victoria, I am offering an interactive 90-minute webinar on life after career. Whether you’re on the verge of leaving work in the rear-view mirror or already retired, we’ll explore the opportunities and challenges that arise in retirement. And there will be homework!

All workshop participants are offered an hour of free coaching, an offer that is available to anyone who has checked out Next in Life services. You don’t have to go to the webinar to access that offer.

Register Now

Learn something new…that scares you! 

Use your hands much? One of the most protective things you can do against aging is to learn a manual skill when you’re young…and keep it up. Strumming a guitar, knitting, tying a lure — all those things that a younger you rolled their eyes at — are valuable lubrication for your future brain!

The next best thing? Learn something new.

This is wisdom from neuroscientist Daniel Levitin, author of the 2020 book Successful Aging. He points out that, “Older adults’ brains are plastic, capable of great feats of rewiring and adaptation….” And yet, neuroplasticity doesn’t slow down as much if you made demands on your brain for many years. The creative arts or jobs and hobbies that require new adaptations every time you approach a task “helps protect the brain against dementia, rigidity and neural atrophy.”

Doing crossword puzzles to flex your brain? You’ll get better at doing crossword puzzles, but your brain still needs you to use your hands, learn something new and learn something that scares you!

Is your roster of manual skills rusty? YouTube is everyone’s friend and teacher. After riding a bike for 55 years I finally learned to change a bike chain thanks to YouTube. Never too late to learn.

How about taking your skills to the next generation? Support your adult children to learn skills they eschewed when living at home. Carpentry and sewing are in vogue again! And maybe you can pull your little darlings, your grandchildren, away from their screens by teaching them a manual skill.

Engage your brain at work or at home in meaningful activities. Your future self will thank you!

You can read the full article exploring learning something new here.

Successful Aging: A Neuroscientist Explores the Power and Potential of Our Lives

Everything you ever wanted to know and more about how our brain works and what you can do to keep that brain working for you. With a comprehensive index and notes, this book by neuroscientist Daniel Levitin is the reference book to aging well. Yes, it is a bit of a heavy read, yet life changing too. I know an eighty-year-old who stopped drinking alcohol (really!) after reading this book! Levitin’s COACH approach distills to five practices choices that will have the biggest impact on our lives: curiosity, openness, associations (as in sociability), conscientiousness, and healthy practices.

Allen Lane
(Jan. 7, 2020)

Retirement Heaven or Hell: Which will you Choose?

In contrast to Levitin’s richly scientific book, Mike Drak, with Susan Williams and Rob Morrison, pulled together a practical guide to prepare for retirement. Inspired from his own struggles this book lists nine principles for designing your ideal post-career lifestyle. Every chapter ends with questions for self-reflection and simple truths that remind us of what we know and of what we’re avoiding. Beyond giving you actionable recommendations, Drak also shows the parallels between our lived experience of the pandemic and retirement. Hopefully that will inspire you to keep engaged with meaningful work, whether for pay or as a volunteer.

Milner; 1st edition
(Dec. 18, 2020)

Let’s connect!

Talk to me! I want to hear your comments, stories, and feedback. You can do that through the newsletter, by emailing me at, or by connecting with me on LinkedIn. I generally post there twice a week raising awareness about the world needing people in the second half of life to do whatever they do best. By contrast, this newsletter will plop into your inbox once every two months, current issue being an exception. I look forward to hearing from you.
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Copyright © 2021 *Stefa Katamay, All rights reserved.

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