Paint Me Your Retirement Picture

Posted on April 29, 2016

Every day retirement advisers help people plan for their retirement by quizzing them on their assets, liabilities, personal finances, net worth, and lifestyle choices.  They assist people in establishing and reaching retirement financial goals.  The advisers crunch numbers and analytically estimate what retirement will look like for their clients. They build graphs, make assumptions, and run a Monte Carlo simulation model for their clients.

So often, the retirement plan adviser just deals with the financial aspect of retiring. They need to be asking what you, the client, are going to do in retirement. They should be asking you questions like “What do you love to do? What’s your passion? What are you going to do every day in your retired life?” Essentially, you need to paint a picture of what retirement looks for you.

To help you get started, let me share with you some retirement pictures that others I’ve worked with have painted. If golf is your passion, play! Bruce bought a set of left handed customized golf clubs and traveled everywhere with them. His goal was to play as many championship golf courses in as many new places as he could each year. He was happiest when he was on the golf course.

Some people dream of travelling.  Janet and her girlfriends went to a Colorado dude ranch one year. They rode horses every day through the Rockies, went fly fishing, visited the spa, and ate the fabulous meals prepared by the ranch’s gourmet chef. If you’re like Diane and Ken, you could cruise the Caribbean Islands or even Europe on one of the river cruises.  You could travel the Continental U.S. and see the Northwest, the Smoky Mountains, the Rockies, the Gulf of Mexico, or even the Grand Canyon.  You can travel relatively cheap or you can choose a more extravagant travel budget. Roger and Melody traveled to Switzerland with their grandson and a College Alum group. Paris, London, Zurich, or even Egypt could all be travel possibilities for you and your family. You might consider going on an educational trip that Roads Scholars offers every year.  There are so many options if you want to travel.

Your picture could involve spending more time with family, friends, and grandchildren. You could choose to move closer to your grandchildren so that you could do more with them.

If you love being outside or enjoy sports, you could play tennis, hike, sail, boat, kayak, ski, skate, jog or go camping. Stan, age 70, climbed Mount Everest just last year. If you love being outdoors like Earl, you might consider working at a state or national park and enjoying the natural beauty every day.

You could become the master gardener you always wanted to be but never quite had the time. If  you always wanted a vegetable and flower garden like your grandmother’s, now could be the time to convert your backyard into raised beds. You could grow beefsteak tomatoes, banana peppers, green beans, heirloom flowers or whatever you chose to each season. If you enjoy cooking, you could can or freeze those vegetables.

Maybe you still want to work, but want to try something different. You could transition into a new career or work part time in your current occupation. Enjoy teaching others?  Become a substitute teacher and teach classes such as high school math or elementary art. If you always love to learn new things, go back to school for fun or learn a new profession.  Many colleges have programs that allow reduced tuition for older students.

Your picture could be one of volunteering in your community. Most local libraries are always looking for assistance from volunteers whether at the gift shops or even helping with the children’s reading hour. Many local museums, neighborhood schools, the city symphony, ballet, opera, or theatre groups are always looking for volunteers as well.  Ruth is an art docent at a city art museum. Jackie volunteers as an usher at the symphony. Pam helps on theater events.

Gardening, golfing, traveling, painting, playing with your grandchildren, playing sports, finding a second career, starting a new business, or volunteering might be part of your vision for retirement. If you have a visual picture of what you want your retirement to look like, it is easier to save for it. It will be less difficult to reach your retirement goals if you retire to something instead of just retiring from work.

Paint your retirement picture! If you want help painting a picture of your future or implementing a plan to make your retirement picture a reality, contact one of our retirement consultants at 800.234.9584 for help.

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