Retirement Life Planning


couple toasting one another with glasses of wine for good retireement planning

Making Retirement work together is like finding the perfect sunset.

Have you done your retirement life planning? Do you considerthis new life stage exciting—or are you dreading it? I recently read an article on how stressful retirement life planning can be. It made me see that creating one’s new reality in retirement can be scary, but it needn’t be that way.

Retirement satisfaction

Retirement satisfaction can grow when we define what is important to us. The awareness leads to effective planning and helps define how we want to spend our time.

What do you consider important for retirement enjoyment? Truly, our finances have an impact, but many consider life planning more stressful than financial planning. Nevertheless, creating a meaningful life beyond employment demands that we focus on life planning.

Some may dread retirement life planning because they’re not used to the freedom to choose their own activities. Our lives have been dictated by work, family responsibilities and pressure to “make good”. Now, retirement brings opportunity to create our own situations, and we may fear making bad decisions.

The good news about life planning for retirement is that we don’t typically have to make huge monetary or life changing decisions the day we retire. When we identify pursuits we think we’ll enjoy, we can try them—before committing.

Someone wanting to become a famous painter could take a few classes at a local school. Others might want to experience “vegging out in front of the TV for a while or explore rock climbing. Those considering a move could rent in the new area before purchasing property.

If our initial ideas, don’t work or we tire of them, retirees are generally free to move on to other pursuits. The important result is that our chosen activities bring satisfaction and meaning to our lives.

In retirement workshops I’ve given, many retirees ask how to make good retirement decisions. In reply, I challenge them to reflect on activities they enjoyed in their youth and why. A common response is, “I enjoyed it because I was good at it.” and that’s a crucial clue for the choice process.

Identify Your Skills

We all have been given individual talents, and most people enjoy activities that call upon those skills. If you are dreading retirement, why not identify your strengths and consider how to put them into action? Let your love of history lead you to activities that bring meaning and joy to this new life stage. If you love history find a way to delve into that. If you love building things, but never had the time, plan sometime each day to create something that gives pleasure.

The Value of Retirement Life Planning

Even a short period doing something we love each day brings delight to our retirement years. Regardless of our life situations or finances, we owe it to ourselves to make space for enjoyable, fulfilling pursuits. It makes us happier and healthier, and those around us will be grateful we’ve chosen positive actions.

For more ideas on exploring new activities in retirement, see Robert Laura’s article on Retiring Well.

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