Your retirement lifestyle is like a blueprint, each line, curve, and structure customized to meet your requirements. The possibilities for your retirement are only limited by the design you give it.
How will you design your retirement?
I’d like to give you some sample templates to get your imagination churning. These ideas will provide you with the tools necessary to live your best life when retirement comes.
Sketch the Idea
There is no better place to start than the beginning, with a general idea of how you see yourself in retirement.
- What does retirement look like to you?
- What goals do you have during retirement?
- What values, intentions, and beliefs are driving your thoughts?
These questions are aimed at helping you get a general idea of your life in retirement. It might be really similar to what you are doing now, but it also could be quite different. The most important thing here is being honest with yourself about what you want and what you don’t want. Your needs, wants, and desires should be at the forefront of your retirement design.
A good thing to remember at this initial stage is that it’s ok to be worried about retirement. So many pre-retirees are anxious about what this new phase of life will bring. Often, people are uncomfortable with uncertainty and change, and retirement epitomizes both of those factors. As you gather ideas about what you want in retirement, don’t forget to focus on your mental readiness and preparedness as much as you would your physical and financial.
Remember, the sketching stage is just to get ideas not to cement them. It is ok if you don’t know exactly what you want to do, but starting the conversation is the best way to grow and learn.
Create the Blueprint
Your retirement blueprint is what keeps your plan together. In terms of your retirement, it is the structure for how you will practically live your life. There are many new changes to consider:
Where do you want to live?
Does downsizing and living abroad for a few years sound good, or do you want to stay right where you are? Knowing where you want to be is a crucial step and it will help you prepare financially like if you need to factor in mortgage payments or increased travel funds.
Do you want to work?
Just because you aren’t working full-time does not mean that you have to cease work altogether. Many retirees have part-time jobs and often in areas that interest or excite them. Perhaps you want to be a substitute teacher or volunteer at the local florist’s shop. If you are thinking about working when you are retired, be sure to find something that won’t overwhelm you or your time. Now is the time to do more of what you love and if you love working, find a way to incorporate that into your plans.
How else will you spend your time?
Filling your days may be the most difficult thing when you first retire. Many people struggle to find a purpose for their activities after they are done working. One way to keep your motivation and find meaning is by devoting time and attention to the things that are important to you. Let your values drive your time. You can do this by volunteering for your favorite charity or organization, taking up a passion project, spending more time with family and friends, staying active, and finding a community you find joy in.
It is important to be deliberate as you weave your way through your retirement plan. The more thorough you can be, the better.
When you are making these decisions above, don’t let fear or anxiety be the driving factor. You should make your decision based on the best possible outcome for you, even if it isn’t the easiest way to go. Don’t make a decision just to minimize the change, make a decision that embraces the changes you want and the ones that are best for you.
Refine The Finishes
The most important part of your retirement lifestyle design is your happiness. You are at the center of this design and it is important that you achieve the quality of life you desire.
If possible, it is best if you can put your retirement plan into action before you retire. Take your retirement plan for a test drive. That way you will be able to see your plan in motion and will be better able to find out what works and what doesn’t before it becomes more permanent. That being said, if you are ever unhappy with your retirement arrangement, you can make changes.
Allow yourself the opportunity to be flexible and experiment to see how well your design works in real life. Whether you have plans to travel to a new place or simply spend time with family and loved ones, your retirement lifestyle is defined by one person: you. There are many decisions you will have to make when you enter retirement, so make sure to have a little fun along the way!
Need help? Contact us today for more information about how Deerfield Financial Advisors can help you design your retirement.