Brainstorming ideas for how you’ll spend your retirement can be like trying to find the “x marks the spot” on the treasure map, except there’s no map! You might have a few ideas of “bucket list” items you know you’ll want to accomplish, but how will you spend your time day to day?
When you think about the concept of a “richer” retirement, what does that mean to you?
It could mean spending more time making memories with your grandchildren, finally reading that novel sitting on your bookshelf, or traveling to France to walk the vineyards and taste delicious wine.
Is there a deeper purpose behind creating your definition of a richer retirement? The answer is likely yes.
It could be working towards spending more time with your family, continuous self-improvement, or learning something new. These things, whether you may know it or not, are likely correlated with your personal values.
Your Values Matter
In the workplace, you likely had a driver that pushed you to continue forward—for example, the organizational mission.
But what about in everyday life? We all have a personal “mission” that drives our actions outside of work, too. When we consistently live in line with our core values, that’s what makes us experience fulfillment and “richer” life.
Using your values to shape and mold your retirement plan gives you a better opportunity to be more intentional with your resources over time. Just because you’re not working anymore doesn’t mean you don’t have a mission behind you. You just have to figure out what your calling is!
What Are Your Core Values?
Let’s consider your core values your “playbook” for life.
Any sports fan likely knows that a playbook outlines all the required steps or information to help you succeed in a particular area (like a football game). With that in mind, let’s apply that same technique here!
Does anyone else have a hard time talking about themself? Is sharing a “fun fact” about you with a new group of people a nightmare?
It makes sense that putting your finger on an adjective to describe what inspires you and gives you direction can be tricky. It can be uncomfortable to talk about yourself! Consider referencing this list of commonly used words to describe core values to help you get started.
Once you have the list in front of you, try this exercise.
- Pull out all the values that resonate with you.
- Now, cut the list in half!
- You’re not done yet. Look at your list again and remove words until you have a maximum of 10.
- Feeling the heat? Cut the list down to the top 5.
If your values are too broad, it might be challenging to focus on how you can satisfy them.
While at first, you may have gravitated toward 20+ words, now you’ve spent the time to craft a more intentional and purposeful list that best reflects your values and priorities. If you have a spouse, go through this exercise separately and compare answers at the end. This can be a great way to connect, listen, and learn from each other.
Another helpful tool is this “No Regrets Retirement Plan” worksheet. In this exercise, you will be asked to think deeply about your “perfect” retirement day. Your answers will help you hone in on what your core values are.
Creating the values to center your retirement lifestyle plan takes tremendous dedication and care. Remember, retirement lifestyle planning is just as nuanced and important to creating a life you love.
Now that you have your core values, you can create intentional goals and action plans to help you achieve them. Try using the Retirement Transition Wheel to focus your goals on areas that will enhance your life.
Are you still with us? Great! Once you have your list of 3-5 values, you can start to develop specific priorities. Those priorities lead to goal setting, then action!
Let Your Core Values Drive Your Actions
Let’s go back to your playbook. Because of the work you’ve already done, you likely have a tremendous amount of information that will help you successfully identify your core values.
Let these values inspire how you’ll spend your time and who you want to spend it with.
For example, one of your values might be centered around health. This can lead to a myriad of activities: hiking, biking, walking your dog, eating healthy, taking your vitamins and medication, etc.
Thinking further, you may also greatly value your family. What better way to spend time with your loved ones than by having a healthy home-cooked meal together or taking a walk through the local park.
The options are truly endless. By letting your values drive your actions, you can work to build a life that’s not idle but rather active and purposeful.
Your Values Can Transform Your Money, Too
Your values also impact how you spend your money during retirement. In addition to having a healthy level of financial security for you and your loved ones, what else can your money do to help you live a purposeful life?
In terms of everyday activities, consider seeking out things that lean into what you value most. For example, if you value creativity, perhaps you’ll sign up for a class that offers that creative outlet—writing, painting, singing, etc.
You can also look at it in terms of defining your legacy.
If education is a core value, perhaps you allocate funds to your grandchild’s education, set up a scholarship for a deserving local, donate money to causes that promote education, etc. There are so many ways you can use your money to tell a story and shape your legacy.
We’d love to work with you to create your ideal retirement lifestyle and work towards living an active and purposeful retirement. Set up a meeting with us today.