If you’re like many Americans, retirement is one of your top financial goals. Retirement is your time to take control of your schedule. You can do what you want with your time, including travel, spend time with family, pursue a lifelong dream or simply relax and enjoy your newfound downtime.
Unfortunately, many retirees spend so much time during their career focusing on the financial aspects of retirement that they don’t put much thought into what they’ll do in retirement. They leave their job and are then faced with an empty calendar and few responsibilities. Some fill that time with costly activities, like shopping and travel. Others struggle to find purpose and meaning in life without the demands of work.
While retirement is an event that should be celebrated, it can also be a difficult transition for some. You can avoid the financial and emotional pitfalls by thinking about your priorities and how you would like to spend your free time. If you know what activities and values are your highest priorities, you can then create a budget and spending plan to support those pursuits.
Think about what gets you most excited about retiring. What activities provide you with the most inspiration and enthusiasm? Then consider how you can enjoy those activities in a way that fits your finances and your budget.
Is family the center of your universe? If so, you may be excited to use retirement as a time to spoil your children and grandchildren. Or maybe you want to reconnect with distant siblings and other relatives.
If spending time with your family is a top priority, the good news is that it may be a cost-effective activity, especially if they live nearby. On the other hand, If your family is on the other side of the country, or the world, you may face steep costs to see them regularly. Consider how you can supplement costly travel with technology. Perhaps you could invest in a camera so you can have video calls and chats in between in-person visits.
You may want to do more than just visit with family. In fact, perhaps you want to help them financially. For example, you might want to contribute to your grandchildren’s education or support your grown child’s business venture. If so, you may want to consult with a financial professional, so you can develop a gifting strategy that fits your budget and meets your needs.
Many retirees use their newfound free time to learn a new skill or hobby. Even former President George W. Bush has used his retirement to pick up a new hobby. He’s become an artist and even recently released a book of his painting.1
Do you have a lifelong interest that you never got the chance to pursue? Perhaps art, golf, writing or some other skill? Retirement is a great time to take up that new hobby. In fact, your new interest could even help keep you in healthy mental and physical condition, reducing possible health care and long-term care costs in the future.
Your local college may offer low-cost adult education classes to help you get started. Or you may consider a part-time job in your favorite hobby. For instance, your local golf course may offer jobs working as a ranger or a starter on the course. Or if art is your passion, you might consider working or volunteering at a local gallery or museum. Be creative and think of ways to enjoy your hobby in a cost-efficient way.
Travel is a top priority for many retirees. Whether you want to travel the world or simply hit your favorite beach a few times a year, travel is likely to be a part of your plans if you’re like many other retirees.
While travel can be a thrilling experience, it can also be costly. Writing out your travel plans may be wise. What locations would you like to visit? How often would you like to travel? Do you want to stay in five-star hotels? Or can you go on a budget?
Once you have answers to those questions, you can plug your travel plans into your budget and determine how to make your dreams a reality. Also, be sure to look for low-cost travel opportunities. For example, churches and other nonprofit groups sometimes combine group travel with volunteer work. Or you may be able to pool together with other retired friends to enjoy a trip together.
Ready to develop your strategy to fund your dream retirement? Let’s talk about it. Contact us at Focus Financial Group. We can help you identify your retirement inspiration and create your funding plan. Let’s connect and start the conversation.
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