For many people turning 60 is frightening. The thought of retiring, ‘being put out to pasture’ with too much time on your hands or losing the respect and power you may now have will make you worried about reaching this age, but this is the story of a woman that takes the situation in her own hands and uses the opportunity for early retirement to follow her dreams and continue on the path to reaching her full potential.
Liane Hansen is a woman that has achieved great things in her career as a radio broadcaster. She started at NPR, the US’s esteemed public radio network, as a production assistant in 1976 and went on to host a number of popular shows. In November 1989 she landed the prime hosting position on the Weekend Sunday Edition. For 22 years Hansen traveled the world covering some of the top stories of the time (as long as it happened on a Sunday, or the Saturday before), interviewing people most would dream of interviewing and reporting on issues that really ‘mattered’. Then in 2010, after over 20 years with the show, she astonished everyone with the announcement of her early retirement the following year, at the age of 61. Many people start organizing their retirement when they reach their sixties, but not usually someone so successful at what they do, doing a job that many would consider a dream job — with 3 million fans!
But, it was time for Hansen to start her “Next Chapter”.
I had been doing the same job for more than 20 years. Getting up early in the morning. My husband and I were going through a divorce. We worked together. I just decided it was time for me to reinvent myself. from Delaware Today
Many have compared Hansen’s retirement to Oprah Winfrey’s ‘Next Chapter’. Winfrey announced that she was finishing with her extremely popular TV show a year early and used the next twelve months to go out with a bang and not a whimper. She has gone on to start her own popular cable network and web channels and produces a number of shows relevant to her audience and the topics that she feels is important.
The similarities to Winfrey don’t end there. Hansen used the last year as a time to fit in all the dream interviews that she hadn’t had a chance to do before, one of the Beatles – Ringo Starr; she returned to some of her earlier interviewees to report on how they got on after the initial meetings and in her “Next Chapter” Hansen has turned to something she is truly passionate about, acting and the theater.
If you had asked me in 1972, when I was performing in a dinner theater production of “Company,” which is a Sondheim show, what my dream in life would be, it would be to perform in a Sondheim musical. And now I’m going to get to do it. I am over the moon at the opportunity to be able to do this. from Delaware Today
When asked if she had planned this transition, Hansen says, “There’s an old saying: Leap and the net will appear. Yeah, well that seems to be what happened. I had no idea what was going to happen coming down here and now all of a sudden, all of my dreams are coming true.” (Click here to listen to Liane talk about her transition.)
Your retirement may be coming up soon, or you may be planning ahead for the changes to come in the next decade or so; but Liane Hansen shows that it’s not something to fear, but an opportunity to reach your full potential. Yes, Hansen and Oprah Winfrey have the advantages of fame, finances and influence; but all women as they age seem to gain certain characteristics that are needed to make such changes, particularly so after the age of 40: confidence, a sense of self worth and the drive to do more for themselves after years of focusing on the needs of others.
8 Reasons Why NOW is the Time for Your ‘Next Chapter’
- If you are unhappy with your current situation, then it’s a ‘no brainer’. I’ve outlined in these articles over the past few months how you can start your own business doing something that you love and every day women are taking the first step to move forward into their ‘Next Chapters’.
- Making the decision to move on to another phase of your life allows you to reinvent yourself. Perhaps you are known in your community for something in particular you or your family have done. Now is the time to decide what it is that you really want to be known for. Are you on the right track or does your life need a little re-alignment?
- Put the less desirable aspects of your life/career behind you. Liane Hansen notes that she was tired of getting up so early every morning. You may be tired of dealing with certain issues or not being able to take more control over what you do day in and day out. In your ‘Next Chapter’, you design the life and career that you want for yourself.
- Other changes in your life may make a change easier or necessary: divorce, children leaving for college, losing a job, etc. Instead of struggling to maintain the status quo during these changes, use the opportunity to make a change that benefits you.
- Many women find that as they get older they gain a confidence and self belief that they may not have had when they were younger and can now focus on themselves, where before they were focusing on what their parents wanted, finding a partner, raising their families, please their bosses and co-workers, etc. Sounds exhausting just thinking about all that! When you are settled in your relationships and family life and have more confidence and know what you want, you can move forward with a new career or business.
- While you are gaining in confidence as you get older, there are other factors that may make your transition more difficult with age – possible declining health or other factors that will come into play, so the longer you put it off, the harder it will be.
- Think of the consequences if you DON’T make the transition. Will you always regret that you didn’t reach your full potential, you didn’t take the opportunity, may miss out on the best that life has for you and that you didn’t believe in yourself and just ‘go for it’? Most people regret what they didn’t do, much more than what they tried and failed to do.
- “Leap and the net will appear,” as Hansen says. Many people wait for the perfect time before they will decide to make a transition on their lives. Well they are probably still waiting and when they do finally decide to make the move, they will be that much further away from getting established. There is never a perfect time to make a big transition in your life, and yes you need to make wise choices but until you take that first step, you don’t know for sure what will happen. Move forward wisely and the net will be there for you.
So are you going to look at courses? Talk to the bank? Take time off work?
Whatever you are going to do,
do it NOW and get moving toward your Next Chapter!