Overcoming the Fear of Your Third Act in Life

Life is composed of three “acts,” so to speak.

1. The first act involves the period of time when you are growing up, going to college, getting a job and finding a spouse. This act is filled with the challenge of trying to discover who you are and what is important to you. 

2. The second act is one of building your career and your family. Often, both careers and families take off at the same time, resulting in significant demands on your time and energy. This act can be consumed by the constant struggle to “make a dent” at work, while being an engaged parent and spouse. Raising children - while challenging - is something most wouldn’t trade for anything else. The financial resources required to pay for a growing family can strain budgets, but the richness of life with kids is vast.

3. The third act, usually begins after the kids are launched and you begin the transition into retirement. Many folks we’ve worked with at Fortis experience fear as they approach their third act. Particularly business owners, because it can mean that they have to start thinking about how to transition their business (read: baby) into someone else’s control.

While this transition into the third act is scary, clients who have gone through it report that it is actually as exciting, just different. And often, even better! You tend to have more disposable income than ever before. You are able to travel more. You worry about your kids less. You get to enjoy your grandchildren, and then give them back (in fact my father-in-law loves to say that “grandchildren are the reward for having children”).

Leading up to this transition, there may be fear about how you will soon spend the 60 hours a week that you previously poured into your business. But once you are retired, you may actually find you are just as busy as before - only the work is different (and often less stressful). You may get to invest in others through mentoring, donate your talents to non-profit organizations, and spend more time with friends and family. 

Transitioning into retirement can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be! Our process involves identifying and helping you work through the fears that precede this transition. Please let us know if we can help.

Mike Boroughs