What do you see as a successful retirement for you?

Senior couple of tourists looking at city map

Image: Goodluz/Bigstock.com

As you plan your retirement, it could be helpful to think about what you would consider to be a successful retirement. For you. What are your dreams and desires for the likelihood of 20-and-more years of retirement?

I’m suggesting seven areas that could be a part of your thinking.

1. For the money to last long enough

Let’s start with the obvious. We all want our money to outlast us, no matter how long we last. That’s why a large industry has grown to help us work out how much we need and how to get the best benefit from the funds we have.

Most of us want to be financially comfortable, with enough to have some extravagant moments without the fear of living on the street. How does your plan help you avoid couch-surfing?

2. Healthy body, heart, and brain

If you need to prioritise, your health is more important than the amount of money you have. There’s not much value in getting the money together at the risk of your health if you become too sick to enjoy it.

In retirement, how do you see yourself following a good health regime? What does it look like?

3. Become closer to your family

One of the good things about retirement is that you have more time to be with the people who matter to you. I’m not only talking about your spouse, but your adult children and, perhaps, grandchildren.

It may also include your parents and others who are part of your family—even that crazy uncle.

4. Achieving your bucket list

What’s on your list? Holidays in exotic places? Taking a hobby to the next level? Setting up the garden you’ve always wanted. Writing the great novel that’s been on your mind? And so on.

This is your bucket list.

5. Making a difference

Baby Boomers became known for wanting to change the world, particularly in the 60s and 70s. I’m not sure we changed it too much. However, we can still make a difference. It can be in our street and community. Or it could be through a club or community groups—perhaps the Under-12 soccer group.

Of course, it could also be as a part of a worldwide group supporting refugees, the environment, a large social movement and so on. Is there a cause you support or want to support?

6. Your to-do list

What’s on your to-do list? And this is not only a list of things that need to be done (like renovations, for instance) but the list of things you want to achieve. It may be related to your bucket list—like the goal to become a painter or musician.

What will you be doing? What do you think a regular retirement week would look like? What interests will you be developing or following?

7. Leaving a positive legacy

How do you want to be remembered? This is an important question for people who are heading to the last stage of life. It also helps to set life priorities.

8. And . . . ?

What do you want to add to this list? At number 3 I listed family, but what about friends? Should they be on your list? This is about what would create a successful retirement for you. You’re in charge of the list. It’s personal.

So . . . ?

Having thought through what would be your ideal retirement, what can you do now to help make it become a reality for then?

That’s the point, really. So much of looking ahead to retirement can be like dreaming the dream. To make it reality it needs planning and setting things in place before you get there. That means it can happen.

What do you need to do first?

Bruce Manners, author of Retirement Ready? and Refusing to Retire.

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Category: Planning

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