How to Plan and Live a Flourishing Retirement with Mary Morency & Jeannette Lalonde

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#92 – Retirement planning is not the same as it was for previous generations.

If you want to plan and live a flourishing life in retirement, you might need to rethink some areas of your retirement plan!

In this episode, Jeremy Keil speaks with Jeannette Lalonde and Mary Morency, retirement coaches and co-authors of Rethinking Retirement: A Guide for Making Choices. Together, they highlight four key areas that today’s retirees need to rethink to enjoy their retirement to the fullest.

Jeannette and Mary discuss:

  • Four primary motivators that shape how you spend your time in retirement
  • Tips to become mentally, emotionally, and physically resilient
  • How to overcome loneliness and social isolation risks in retirement
  • Three steps to redefine your life purpose
  • And more

How to Plan and Live a Flourishing Retirement

1) Contribution

People often talk about retiring from something. However, you need to think about what you’ll retire to.

Most people want to continue to contribute post-retirement. It’s only a matter of figuring out how.

Your contribution doesn’t necessarily have to be huge. It can be something as simple as helping your local community.

If you’re struggling to find your contribution after retirement, perhaps the following four motivators can help you:

  1. Usefulness: When you’re at work, you’re useful to someone. How important is it to you moving forward?
  2. Structure: Knowing how you’ll spend your day is important for some people. They feel lost with a blank agenda.
  3. People: Everyone, including introverts, needs to connect with people! Otherwise, you can end up in loneliness and social isolation.
  4. Self-worth: A sense of self importance, knowing that you’re making an impact, is crucial for many.

Discover which of these motivators are most important to you and plan how you might replace them.

Remember, letting go of your work identity after being attached to it for decades can be a challenge. But finding your contribution helps you overcome this identity crisis.

2) Well-Being

Jeannette Lalonde and Mary Morency link well-being to resilience.

As you enter retirement, lots of things will change. You might also lose important people in your life. But resilience is what will keep you going.

There are four types of resilience you need to strive for:

  1. Mental: Becca Levy, PhD, found in her research that changing your attitude toward aging can add up to seven years to your life. To achieve mental resilience, you need to move from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset.
  2. Emotional: Everybody has negative emotions. Emotional resilience comes when you have a higher ratio of positive emotions compared to negative ones.
  3. Physical: Daily physical activity is key to achieving physical resilience. Simply going for a walk every day can also do the trick.
  4. Spiritual: It is the ability to connect beyond ourselves to feel a deep sense of belonging and purpose.

3) Connection

After being forced into isolation during COVID-19, we all know the importance of nourishing our connections!

Retirees often fear being lonely and socially isolated when they disconnect with their work relationships. In fact, 75% of Jeannette and Mary’s clients attested to the need to broaden quality relationships.

These relationships can be of four types:

  1. Work and contribution relationships
  2. Family
  3. Friendships
  4. Special support resources (financial planners, retirement coaches, pastors, etc.)

Building relationships is all about energy. You need to figure out where, out of the above four groups, you want to allocate your maximum energy. Why is that important? Because some connections feed you positive energy while others drain your energy.

To combat loneliness and social isolation, you can also change your living arrangement. For example, we met a widowed lady who moved to a senior living facility. This helped her find several new connections and activities!

4) Purpose

Defining your purpose requires a lot of introspection. You need to be curious about the impact you wish to have on others.

During retirement, you’ll no longer have your work to motivate you to get out of bed. That’s where your life purpose comes into play!

If you don’t know how to find your purpose, follow these three steps:

  1. Confirm your core values: These are your main principles in life. They will influence your attitudes, decisions, and behaviors moving forward.
  2. Pursue your passions: If you had to put aside some passions to focus on your career, it’s time to bring those passions back into your life!
  3. Apply your character strengths: Find things you are naturally good at and apply them to your retirement.

Once you know these three things, you can write your personal life purpose statement.


To learn more about the “non-financial side” of retirement planning, check out our previous episodes: Retire & Be Happy and The Rich Life in Retirement.

To learn more about retirement planning, check out the resources below!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us or our guests Jeannette Lalonde and Mary Morency using the contact information provided below!


Connect With Jeannette Lalonde and Mary Morency:

Connect With Jeremy Keil:

About Our Guests:

Based in Montreal, retirement coaches Mary Morency and Jeannette Lalonde are on a mission to influence individuals, organizations, and society on the new realities of retirement. To better serve their clients, they have studied retirement lifestyle planning, positive psychology, and resilience. They offer individual coaching and workshops to individuals and organizations both in person and virtually. Their first book, Rethinking Retirement – A Guide for Making Choices, was published in November 2021.



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