What do you really want in retirement? Time? Money? Or both? Many people who retire become bored and go back to work. If you spend a little time thinking about your life after retirement now, you might save yourself some second-guessing and dissatisfaction down the line.
“Retire to something instead of retiring from something – people often find themselves bored because they have nothing to retire to. Start thinking about a passion or a ministry that a retiring person can do to make big differences in people’s lives,” says Ted D. Snow, CFP®, MBA, Snow Financial Group, LLC, Addison, Texas.
For starters, consider the steps you took that put you in a position to leave the workforce and begin life as a retiree.
Consider How You Got Here
Before you retired, you likely had retirement-related goals, many of which had to do with your finances. First, there was the matter of how you would pay living expenses after you no longer received a paycheck.
Whether it was through a pension, 401(k), Social Security, individual retirement account or other savings, you sat down, crunched the numbers and came up with a plan. You may have even created a retirement budget.
Your planning likely included reducing or eliminating debt, creating an emergency fund and buying life insurance and possibly long-term care insurance. (See also Do You Need Life Insurance After You Retire?) You may have written a will and made advance funeral arrangements.
List Retirement Lifestyle Goals
Now that you are officially retired – or very near to it – what do you want to do with your time? What do you want to achieve? If you haven’t written down a list of retirement lifestyle goals, do so now. Get out a piece of paper and make a “What I want to do now” list.
“I have had clients who didn’t plan well for what to do when they got to retirement, and they went downhill – some both mentally and physically – quickly,” says Martin A. Federici, Jr., AAMS®, CEO of MF Advisers, Inc., Dallas, Pa. “I now suggest to all my clients to make a list of things they want to do during retirement (often I remind them that working part-time has social and mental benefits besides the obvious monetary benefits) and see to it that they keep themselves mentally and physically sharp once they retire.”
Your list can include both short-term and long-term goals. It doesn’t have to be detailed. Anything…