Designing Your Retirement

by | Nov 18, 2022 | WWC WorthWhile Reading


Envisioning how your life will be different and who you want to be in retirement can feel almost impossible. You have spent most of your years working around a company’s or client’s schedules and needs. Now it’s time to think about how you want to spend your time, who you are, who you want to be, what goals you want to reach, and how much that will cost. These exercises should help give you a good start.


Educate Yourself


Knowledge eliminates fear of the unknown. The more you learn about and understand retirement and what is coming your way, the less scary it becomes. Spend time reading books and perusing websites focused on retirement so you can get a good handle on what makes a successful second life. Increasing you knowledge about retirement will allow you to make better choices, which will lead to better outcomes. The secret to a great second life lies in the preparation for what is coming your way.


Explore Who You Are


Self-knowledge is key to retirement success. In order to live a happy second life, it’s critical you know yourself well so that you can make better choices for retirement and invest your efforts in the areas that will yield the greatest return in terms of overall well-being.


To be a happy retiree express who they really are — the person inside who has been trying to get out for the past 40 years. You will be less stressed and happier because you have connected with your authentic self again, and your actions are aligned with your needs and values, the things you believe in.


Start with these questions:

What makes you happy?

What have been the most meaningful events in your life?

What are you good at? What are your strengths, your skills, your superpowers?


Explore Who You Want To Be


Many people experience a welcome shift in values when they retire. Suddenly money, title and status just aren’t important anymore. When our lives are no longer consumed by the pursuit of more, we realize that the most precious things in life are not things. They are the people we hang out with, the laughter we share and the memories we make.


You want to create a vision for this stage of life so compelling and exciting that it pulls you out of bed in the morning, motivating and driving you toward the future that you want.


Ask Yourself These Questions:

Who do you want to be?

What can you subtract from your life (e.g., bad habits, bad relationships, clutter) to make yourself happier?


Set Goals


Concrete goals are important for retirees because they provide a sense of purpose, much-needed structure in the face of all that free time and a feeling of accomplishment.


What goals do you want to accomplish in the first five to 10 years of retirement?


Whatever your goals are, they need to be put down on paper and kept in a place where you can see them every day. Unwritten goals are soon forgotten about. Specific, clear goals with timelines attached will get you to where you want to go.


Breaking each goal down into smaller steps will make it feel more manageable and you will get a huge sense of accomplishment once you start achieving those smaller objectives, step by step.


How Much Will It Cost


Now that you know what your ideal second life will look like, you and your financial advisor can figure out how much that lifestyle is going to cost and then ensure you have sufficient retirement cash flow to support it.


Keep in mind that even the beginning of retirement will look different from the end. You may be doing a lot and spending more in the beginning working toward all your goals.


Eventually, depending on the state of your health, retirees may hit the slow-go years. You may be less physically active and spend a little less.


At some point, many people enter their no-go years when they experience a further slowdown in activity levels. In this phase, medical costs may rise significantly.



Source: Mike Drak -Rethinking65





**Disclaimer: This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.