As folks reach 50 years and older they enter what most consider the final years of their career before retirement. During this critical time people focus so much on the money part of retirement, they forget the the most important part of it. What to do with all that free time? What will the retirement lifestyle be like? Retirement lifestyle plans often focus 20% on the retirement lifestyle and 80% on the financial plan, when in fact it should be reversed. Men are more likely to consider the money side of the plan than the women.
Unfortunately too many have not thought beyond making sure they have some money saved. People think that after that they can just retire and everything will be wonderful and the retirement lifestyle will take care of itself.
They never stop to consider what they actually want to do when they leave their jobs. Ask yourself “What do I want to retire to”? We must “retire to” something and many retirees never ask themselves this question, the result is that they find after a short time of being away from work that they are at loose ends, bored, unhappy, just not satisfied with their lives. This kind of retirement lifestyle can lead to personal and social problems.
Sometimes, it is easy to figure out what you want to do when you retire. Sometimes it is almost impossible. Often, you will find clues by thinking about your past, what you enjoyed doing as a child, what you like about your job, what you like to do on vacation, and on holidays. What are your hobbies, will you be happy spending more time with your hobby? Once you have an idea of what you might want to do consider giving it a trial run, a few hours a week or a month. What if you absolutely do not like it?
Ask yourself this question: “When I retire I will…………Before I die”
Answers such as -Take a cruise, -Spend more time with the grand kids, -Golf more, -Start a business, -get intellectual stimulation, -???, -etc.
Find a minimum of 50 answers, 100 would be better, and somewhere in these you should get some ideas of what you would like to “retire to”.
The objective here is to get to know yourself in some detail. Share your list with your partner so you make your plans together. Have your partner make a list of what s(he) want to do as well. You have likely scrambled through the past 30-40 years, raising children, pursuing careers and finally meeting together rather bleary-eyed at the end of the day, where there certainly is no interest in discussing retirement plans or much else for that matter.
You may both have an unspoken vision of what your retirement should look like, but maybe your visions will clash. Talk it out, but above all else, make plans together. The ideal; when each has separate outside interests, but shared interests are also enjoyed.