It's Time for Some Life Planning

New MetLife guide provides useful tools to understand what's important, and to do something about it.

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If you need guidance figuring out the next steps in your life -- and who doesn't these days -- a new workbook and DVD from MetLife could be very helpful. Developed by the insurer's Mature Market Institute in partnership with life coach and author Richard Lieder, Your Guide to the Good Life is a straightforward but not simplistic tool to get you thinking -- and acting -- about the important stuff in life.

There are four components in the workbook's formula for the Good Life -- living in the place you belong, with the people you love, doing the right work and having a sense of purpose in what you do. The recession may have elevated financial concerns to the tops of our worry lists. But MetLife released some heavy-duty research early in 2009 that confirms what we already feel -- it's that sense of purpose and meaning to our lives that gives value to having enough money and good health.

[See 4 Ways Retirees Can Enrich Their Life (And the Lives of Others).]

In his books and this workbook, Lieder looks at life as a series of packing and unpacking our bags, tied to key life events. "We often come to crossroads in our journeys through life and do not know how to proceed or what to take with us," he says in the workbook. "More and more, many of us wonder what to bring along and what to leave behind, what to acquire and what to give away, what to do and with whom to do it. Repacking means taking a long, hard look at what we are carrying and where we are headed."

The workbook, Discovering What Matters: Your Guide to the Good Life, is available online. The workbook and DVD can also be ordered by e-mailing,, or by writing to: MetLife Mature Market Institute, 57 Greens Farms Road, Westport, CT 06880.