The two extremes with retirement planning are: to go into retirement with no plan; or to over-plan. No plan means you’re beginning a substantial part of your life (perhaps 20 to 30 more years) with no direction. Over-planning leaves no space for spontaneity—which is one of the major delights of retirement. The key is to focus on what’s important with your planning.
What are your dreams for retirement? A more important question is: What is your life dream? That’s about what you want to do but linked to how you want to live. In other words, who do you want to be in retirement?
There’s strong evidence that it’s ‘more blessed to give than receive’. But we need to learn how to give—or serve—smart. One large study in the United States showed that volunteering once a week increased people’s chances of being ‘very happy’ with their lives. That’s worth knowing—and having.
Just as you should try to develop a financial portfolio for your retirement, you should also have a life portfolio. That’s according to Anna Rappaport who, at 78 years of age, has her own life portfolio.
Interesting question. How would that focus your mind? What would become important to you? Would your priorities change? I expect so.
Jill Weeks, the co-author of Retire Bizzi shares the stories of people she’s met and what they’re doing in retirement. Long involved in the retirement industry, she’s researched and understands what’s involved in this decision. She has also written 21 Ways to Retire and co-authored Where to Retire in Australia and is a regular contributor to ABC radio.
Planning for a successful retirement not only includes planning your finances but also planning your time—and having the right mindset.
The bucket list concept—things you want to do before you kick the bucket— is well known. Your reverse bucket list comes from what you’ve already done.
‘Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities,’ says Gloria Steinem. ‘Dreaming, after all is a form of planning.’ What’s your dream for your retirement. How will you make that dream a reality? What’s your plan?
The word ‘retirement’ doesn’t describe well what currently happens when a person finishes work. It’s now rarely a time when people ‘retire’— as in withdraw—from life.