Central Florida Women Share Thoughts About Their Futures

My Aspirement (MYA) is spending a few months gathering input directly from women in the community about what matters most to them in regard to retirement and other life stage changes.

Our first stop was in September at the Orlando Women's Conference where we setup a photo opportunity for women to create a vision for their future. It was dynamic and fun!

Last month, My Aspirement joined Central Florida Foundation’s TableTalk, #cfftabletalk. People across the community took part in small group conversations to get ideas flowing about all the different ways — big and small — each of us can make Central Florida an even better place to live, work and play.

My Aspirement's TableTalk was focused on reframing women’s retirement, how to perceive it, plan for it, and experience it. After all, Florida is a retirement destination for many. It was a lively discussion over dinner with some wonderful women!

What people do or don’t believe about retirement is “intimately personal and unique.”
I didn’t get any pictures at our Table Talk. The convo went deep, fast. Pics didn’t seem appropriate at that point. The 10 amazing women who participated were incredibly insightful and engaging.  

They were candid about their perceptions of retirement, ranging from “unattainable” to “a time for fun”. And how the needs of others (spouses and elderly parents) would likely still take precedence. They shared poignant thoughts about agism, how older women seem less valued in our society. And that what people do or don’t believe about retirement is “intimately personal and unique.”

Planning for life beyond just finances seemed important but not focused on nearly enough.
Regarding retirement planning – many were grateful to mentors, parents and others, who helped shape how and when they have saved and invested. Others shared how teaching their children (or even fellow employees) about saving and investing has created new opportunities for them to learn more themselves. Planning for life beyond just finances seemed important, but not focused on nearly enough. Related, financial planners get mixed reviews.

When will the right time be?
When it comes to experiencing retirement, they talked about what excites and scares them. Those who are already retired spoke about the joys, freedom, and flexibility. Others pondered when will the right time be? Some are “trying it out” by taking extended vacation time. The truth is, there is no singular "right" time.

To all women wondering, I say THIS IS YOUR TIME.

#cfftabletalk @cffound @firstyoutalk.