Picture this; you’re driving into the sunset after many years of hard work. On the horizon, you can see the finish line, retirement.
Throughout your travels, you’ve been conscious of your gas mileage, speed, rest breaks, etc., and are making it to your destination with a good handle on your resources.
Suddenly, you’re just a handful of miles away from your destination, retirement, and it hits you: are you really ready to get there? Have you considered where you want to live and what you want to do? If so, have you put those ideas into action by test driving your plan?
Your ideal retirement lifestyle can take time to come into full bloom, and it may take some trial and error to get it right. That’s why we’re big advocates of test driving your retirement plan before you commit. With a test drive, you can assess if you like the location, feel connected to the community, and are excited about your lifestyle.
If you’re stressing about how to do all of this, don’t worry; that’s where we come in!
This likely comes as no surprise, but at TFS Advisors, we’ll be the first people to emphasize the importance of having a financial plan for retirement. We’ve learned through our decades of financial advising experience that a financial plan cannot be successful without considering an individual’s (or couple’s) goals, values, and lifestyle.
Without it, your retirement might just feel like fool’s gold.
Surprisingly, twenty-nine percent of retirees are depressed, translating to nearly one out of three people. Retirement is a significant life change and can bring stress and anxiety with it. Our goal at TFS Advisors is to make you feel confident and prepared financially and personally for your retirement lifestyle.
Why is Planning For Your Retirement Lifestyle Important?
It’s been mentioned before that when first approaching the idea of crafting your retirement lifestyle, people tend to think “big.” You might be daydreaming of traveling to far-off countries, moving to a new area, or upgrading your home.
But in reality, those “big” moments are a mere fraction of your overall retirement lifestyle—though they can certainly put your budge through the wringer if you’re not careful.
Those bucket-list-worthy memories may help you envision the bigger picture, but what about your daily life?
With the beginning of a new life chapter comes the need for a new routine. Instead of working Monday-Friday from nine to five, you can control what you do every day!
Let that sink in.
It’s often scary to think about filling your days with tasks that bring meaning, purpose, and fulfillment to your life. Having a clear vision for your daily moments will help ease the transition between these exciting seasons of life.
In your search for your ideal retirement life, let your values sit at the center. Knowing what your values are is a critical component of spending your time meaningfully.
What Does a Non-Financial Retirement Plan Include?
Step 1 is developing a healthy social network. And no, that doesn’t just mean “friending” more people on Facebook.
When you retire, you need to seek out relationships that give your life color and meaning. Whether you’re an extrovert who loves jumping into new things or an introvert who recharges with a good dose of alone time, you need to cultivate strong social connections.
How can you do that?
First, Identify Your People
One excellent quality of the workforce is spending time with a network of like-minded individuals. Every company, department, team, etc., can be its own community. Just because you’re retired doesn’t mean that community has to go away. In fact, it’s important that it doesn’t!
There’s an unfortunate trend of retirees reporting a sense of loneliness. To combat this, it’s essential to plan ahead. Start by thinking through your current relationships.
- Are there people you would like to reconnect with?
- How are you nurturing your current relationships with family and friends?
- Are you the friend/grandparent/parent, etc., you’d want to have?
Retirement is also a wonderful opportunity to make new friends!
So, how do you find your people?
The best way is by doing things you love. Like a workplace community, you will become connected to like-minded individuals simply by doing what you enjoy, such as golf, yoga, volunteering, singing, etc. From there, see what relationships can blossom and foster them along the way.
In addition, challenge yourself to find community in things that might not always involve others. If you enjoy creating art, consider joining a club or class rather than exclusively painting in your studio. Or, join a book club for mystery lovers so you can share your love of James Patterson with other people! It may surprise you just how many friends you can make.
Planning Your Day-To-Day
Retirement is synonymous with freedom.
What does this newfound sense of freedom mean to you?
While every door may be open to you, you can’t walk through them all. It’s essential to carve out a specific path that calls to you without being over-committed.
It’s far too common for people to make it to retirement and suddenly realize they have no idea what comes next. Being intentional about planning for these daily activities is crucial.
You may already have a great start on your daily activities wish list! If you’ve identified that your communities will include your family, spiritual group, volunteers, etc., there likely are “built-in” activities that come along with that. You could:
- Dedicate one to two days a week to picking up your grandchildren from school
- Volunteer as an usher at a weekly church service
- Spend one day a week at your local food bank volunteering
- Sign up for a crafting class that meets once a week
The options are truly unlimited! Get creative and think deeper about what you already enjoy and what you’d like to try next. Retirement is a great time to try your hand at new things.
Remember, it’s important to be involved, but just as important not to be too involved. You don’t want to over schedule yourself to the point that your “hobbies” become more like obligations. Find a balance between activity and leisure that works for you.
Leaning On Your Partner
Retirement planning for couples has a significant benefit—you don’t have to make these decisions all on your own! It’ll be important to have open and honest communication with your spouse when discussing your retirement lifestyle to align your goals and plans.
Through this communication, you may find your partner has a wanderlust for travel or that they’d like to take up a hobby they haven’t yet shown interest in. The main goal is to create a path for you and your spouse/partner so you can retire with a clear vision and mindset as individuals and as a couple.
Finding Your “Why”
During your career, you likely had a major driver behind what you did every day—a goal or vision that made all of your time and energy worthwhile. You need a similar purpose for your retirement lifestyle.
It’s important to know that your identity is so much more than being “retired.” You are a person with goals, values, and aspirations. Find your “why,” and let it drive how you spend your time. For example, your retirement bumper sticker might read, “inspired, not retired!”
The feeling of loss of purpose is one thing that can make the transition to retirement so tricky. So, you need to discover your new purpose!
Where do you find joy and fulfillment?
Your answer might be pursuing a part-time work position in an area you enjoy, obtaining additional education, or dedicating time to a hobby, interest, volunteer work, or anything else that moves you!
A great exercise to flush out this vision is what we call “the values exercise,” or finding concrete words to describe what is truly important to you. This could include:
- Trying new things
- Engaging in the community
These high-level words now open the door to an unlimited library of ideas:
- “I want to intentionally spend more time with my children or grandkids.”
- “I want to dedicate 5-10 hours a week to volunteering in the community.”
- “I want to be intentional about signing up for a group/class on something I haven’t tried before.”
- “I want to plan at least one trip annually.”
Being intentional about spending your time in a way that you value is so important. While you may not be “working” in the traditional sense every day, you do have something to work towards in retirement! Set goals for yourself, and find creative ways to make them happen.
Where Do I Go From Here?
We know that planning for your retirement lifestyle can be daunting.
Don’t know where to start? We’d love to help you.
We pride ourselves on not just being financial planners but also cultivating relationships with our clients. We understand that the financial world is complicated. Let us tackle the details for you, so you can spend your valuable time making clear, confident decisions on the things that matter most to you.
Schedule a meeting with our team today to start planning for your ideal retirement lifestyle.