As we head into the anniversary of the start of quarantine, many of us are looking forward to life returning to “normal”. We miss seeing friends and family, eating out at restaurants, and of course traveling!  Although planning vacations is half the fun, we’re ready to go from planning to actually taking the vacations!

Planning one’s retirement is more similar to planning vacations than you’d think. First and foremost, you need to plan the financial side to make sure you can afford what you are planning.

Second, for retirement planning, there is much more than the financial side that you must consider such as:

  • Replacing the benefits you get from working such as how will you identify yourself? What will you do to have structure in your days and weeks, as well as have a sense of utility?
  • How much are family and friendships involved with the upcoming transition at home?
  • Consider your social connections that you built at work. How will you maintain them?
  • Where will you live in the future? Will you stay where you are, downsize, go to a retirement community? What climate, what part of the world is calling to you?
  • How will care for your health and wellness – body, mind and spirit? As we grow into this next phase of life, this becomes critical!
  • What about the fun stuff we all dream about? How will you spend your leisure time?
  • Where will you find meaning in life? Going back to the first bullet, this is one of the benefits work may have provided for you in the past.

The next time you’re planning your vacation (hopefully soon!) think about all the non-financial items you consider to ensure your vacation is successful. That might comprise one to two weeks of your life.

Now think about the non-financial considerations to ensure you have a successful retirement of over 30+ years. This will be a lot longer than two weeks! It is important to consider some of the questions about the non-financial side of your retirement.

We understand it can be overwhelming and exciting to think of all these aspects in planning your next phase of life! As financial life planners, these are the ongoing discussions we have with clients who are either a ways from retirement, close to it, or have been retired for a bit. Because life changes – and when life changes, money changes. It’s an ongoing process!

Wishing you the best for a planning a great vacation and retirement!