There’s a lot more to retirement planning than saving. You also need to imagine what you want your life to look after your last day at work. Indeed, the key to living a fulfilling retirement is to do the things that bring you joy and excitement, whether it’s philanthropy, family or entrepreneurship, amongst many other things. Of course, you’ll also need to plan for your financial future if you’re going to accomplish all your retirement goals.
What kinds of goals and activities should you set for yourself? Here are four areas to consider.
Focus on family
Getting to spend more time with those you hold dear is a common retirement goal. It may have more financial implications than you imagined, however. For some, having a weekly dinner is enough. For others, though, they may want to relocate closer to grandchildren or a place that brings them closer to their favorite hobbies.
Before retirement day comes, think about how you want to spend your time, and talk to your family about how they see you factoring into their lives now that you’re retired. Remember to focus on financial practicalities: Will you need to move cities? Do you want to downsize and free up some cash to take your family on an annual trip? Will you need to keep your existing home, so you have enough space for when the grandchildren come to visit? Answering these questions can help you plan ahead and prioritize.
Consider your health
With many people living well into their 80s and 90s, it’s important to think about what you’ll want your life to look like when your health changes. You might consider downsizing to a smaller home that’s easier to get around, setting up home care, moving into an assisted living facility or even renovating your home to accommodate future healthcare needs. Other options might include moving closer to family or to an area with more healthcare resources.
It’s often easier to have these discussions when you’re healthy, so you’re prepared, and your family can act quickly when your needs change. Thinking ahead can also help you make sure you’re saving enough to cover your long-term healthcare costs.
Leave a legacy
As people move closer to retirement, many start thinking about how they want to distribute their assets after they pass away. For some, that could mean leaving an inheritance to their children, while others may want to give some of their wealth to charity – and many will do both. It’s important to consider your estate and philanthropy plans before you retire, so you can make sure there’s enough money to cover your needs as you age and to give to the people and causes that matter to you.
Embark on a second career
Retirement doesn’t mean you need to stop working. In fact, many people dislike the idea of ending their career. For them, there are a variety of ways to continue earning and pursuing your passions.
Some decide to start a new business later in life. After working as an executive, for example, you may want to pursue the business idea you’ve always had in the back of your head.
For many, a lighter schedule is most appealing. A person may continue to work, but part time and at a job that gives them more pleasure. For instance, you could leverage your professional experience and expertise to advise others. Whichever new vocation you choose, it’s important to consider your income requirements now and in the future so you can ensure that you continue to meet them.
As you approach retirement, you may decide you want to do it all, or you may want to focus on a few key goals. Crafting a retirement plan and adjusting it as you age — and as your priorities change — can help you figure out what matters most and save for the future you envision.