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Building A Retirement Lifestyle You Love

I don’t have 20/20 vision. I can’t see my alarm clock each morning, and I can only read something if I have it nearly pressed against my face. A person who approaches me resembles a blob and I am more likely to trip over anything left on the floor.

But with my glasses, my vision becomes crystal clear.

Not everyone in the world needs glasses to be able to see, but I know we can all relate to missing something that is right in front of us, hiding in plain sight.

Your ideal retirement lifestyle is just like that—nestled in the breakfast nook where your grandson took his first steps, illuminating the screen on your computer as you finally write that book you’ve been dreaming about, in the stillness of the morning when you and your spouse steal loving glances over fresh coffee. It’s there, in these plain sight moments where you build your life and find the deepest meaning.

Retirement will be a new phase of your life and you can fill it with the people, places, and things that mean the most to you. So how can you create a retirement lifestyle you love?

Let’s find out.

Start Big

Dream big here! Have you always wanted to watch the sunset over the French Riviera? Perhaps your taste for culinary excellence will lead you to a village in India or taking a class in an Italian kitchen. You may never have made it up to the Indiana Dunes National Park and want to spend a weekend camping on the beach. Whatever it is for you, think about it!

I love looking at the big picture. You can write down everything you dreamed of for retirement without (yet) looking at the practical measures of how to get it done. You have probably been planning for retirement for at least the last 35 years of your career, so it is important that you really think about the things you want to do when retirement comes.

  • How have you pictured your retirement?
  • Do you have a dream-list?
  • How will your activities help bring you meaning and fulfillment?

Thinking through these questions is a great way to get your foot in the door in terms of your retirement lifestyle. It is such a big undertaking that starting with these lofty questions can help get you excited to see how you can make that life happen for you and your family.

Stay Practical

Your dreams, goals, and vision will help pave the way for your dream retirement lifestyle, but it is important that you also take an honest look at what you want and find practical ways to help you get there.

Above, we looked at your big picture dreams, but you can only stay in a villa in France for so long until it is time to think about your daily routine and what that will look like when you retire. This is by far one of the most difficult aspects of retirement lifestyle planning. It is easier to list your dream vacations, but it is harder to see what your day-to-day life will look like.

It is here where people have the most trouble. This transition can be taxing mentally and physically which is why I want to help you start to make concrete plans for the particulars of your retirement lifestyle. Take a look at the questions below to get started.

  • How do you picture your daily routine? What is a normal Thursday?
  • Where do you want to live? Are you going to stay in your house, downsize, or move in with family?
  • What will your cash flow look like? How does it differ from when you were working?
  • Have you planned for your health care expenses?

These are big questions and I know it is a lot to think about. But you don’t have to have all the answers right away. This is just a list to get you thinking about the number of things that will change and that you need to plan for.

Just like your regimented saving strategy helped financially prepare you for retirement, a lifestyle strategy will help prepare you for the transition into your new life in retirement.

Once you think you have an idea of your retirement lifestyle, try it out. Give yourself the time to live as you would in retirement and see if you enjoy it and if you don’t then you can make changes. Even when you enter retirement, your lifestyle is flexible. Be open to changing things that don’t work and maximize what does work in order to make you happier.  

Live Fully

As you invent your ideal retirement lifestyle, meaning and value should always be at the center. You can use your lifestyle to create additional meaning and impact in others’ lives as well as your own.

  • Where can you volunteer?
  • How can you use your time, energy, and resources to impact your community in a positive way?

When you retire, you will have so much more “free time.” After so many years of working you may have forgotten what “free time” entails. But now is the time where you can expand on the things you were doing in your working life. You can give more time to the people, places, and organizations that matter most to you.

When you build your retirement lifestyle around your values, you will find a deeper meaning and sense of fulfillment in your golden years.

Here at Deerfield, we are passionate about our values and love working with people who seek to use their lives to create a positive impact. We would love to help you create your ideal retirement lifestyle and can’t wait to speak with you soon.