Picture yourself in retirement long before you retire
Think about what your future self will be thanking you for in terms of the decisions you make now. Could it be paying off debt? Could it be becoming mortgage-free? Could it be keeping physically fit and active? Could it be spending time enriching and strengthening your relationships? Or could it be doing the downsizing move now or sooner rather than later?
Ed Zinkiewicz of Nashville, Tennessee suggests creating a visual picture of what you and your future will look like. Where will you be? Who are you with? What are you doing? Then compare that image with that of your spouse if you have one and your family as retirement is seldom a solo act. Only one-third of couples compare their expectations for what retirement will be like. This may be another cause of silver-haired divorce on the rise.
Related article: Building a retirement Vision
Some expect to revocate by starting a business or consulting or getting a part-time job. Some spouses think this a great idea while others want their partners available to travel or just hang out more. Find out before plans cause conflict!
You may say I’m a dreamer and why not? If not now, when? That is the attitude that can cause folks to spread wings and fly away to exotic lands they have always dreamed of experiencing. However, there is no perfect place, no geographical cure for any dissatisfaction with your life. Take a trip to check out that special place before you sign up for a whole new life. Experience life there first. This is a great way to practice retirement before you retire.
I had a couple tell me they would move to Ecuador for retirement but they had never been there. They did not speak Spanish. Their plan developed from an article they read about it being a great place to retire. One article was the extent of their research but they were going to sell out and head out based on that and their sense of adventure.
We all need a mission and purpose and many of us get that through our work. Some dissatisfied with their work lives find a whole new world in retirement while others continue to feel frustrated with their lot in life. We may need to find another mission or purpose, a reason to be, to feel important and engaged.
I love it when a plan comes together
For those of you that remember the TV series from the ’80s, the A-Team was usually successful because they were daring, brave, inventive, and they had a plan. I suggest you do the same when it comes to your retirement! Be bold in your vision of what you want your quality of life to be. Be brave and go after the life you want. Get creative and inventive to make it happen. But most important of all, have a plan!
Related article: 3 basic steps for your retirement plan
If you have a plan, you will be ahead of most retirees. Only about one-third of pre-retirees have a financial plan of any kind. Fewer have a lifestyle plan! If you do not know where you are going, how will you know when you get there?
What are your retirement plans?