With increasing lifespans and earlier retirements becoming more common, we have more flexibility in choosing how we want to spend our retirement. Assuming that you have financially planned for retirement and finances are not the major determining factor in choosing how to spend your retirement, there are many other factors to consider. There are countless questions to consider when we begin thinking about how we want to spend our retirement.
It is important to think about these points and to plan how you wish to spend your retirement because, for many, retirement means transitioning out of the role that we conducted for decades and this can cause feelings of lacking purpose or meaning. Additionally, retirement also means a change in social activity as you no longer spend time with coworkers every day. Planning how you wish to spend your retirement can help counter these feelings, and help in transitioning away from the work routine you’ve had for decades with new and fulfilling experiences.
- Do I want to continue working as a consultant, volunteer, or otherwise? Or do I want to leave the industry or workforce all together?
- Do I want to live where I am or do I prefer moving? If I move, will it be in the same area or somewhere else entirely?
- What type of environment do I want to be in? Urban, suburban, mountain, beach, desert?
- Who do I want to be with in my retirement? Do I want to be near family, friends, or others?
These questions are merely scratching the surface when we begin planning for how we want to spend our retirement. Once we decide the major puzzle pieces of where we are going to live and who we will be spending most of our time with, we can get into the questions that will shape our days in retirement.
Choosing How to Spend Retirement
When choosing how to spend our retirement, it is helpful to think about how we want to spend our time by breaking down what we are doing throughout the day.
- What time do you want to wake up? Do you want to continue waking up at the same time that you have been for work, or do you want to sleep in?
- When do you wake up, since you won’t be getting ready for work, what do you want to be doing?
- Are you active? Is there an exercise that you want to continue doing?
- Are there any activities that you have been interested in and haven’t done yet? Perhaps you can take a class, join a group, or continue an activity you are already participating in.
- If money is not a major concern in your retirement, are there any pro bono activities that you would like to take on? If so, how regularly do you commit to this?
- Do you want to remain active in your career while in retirement? For instance, an attorney can take on pro bono cases, a retired teacher can give lectures, a retired CEO can mentor people just starting out in their careers.
At the root of these questions is discovering what brings you joy and a sense of security in your retirement. When you transition out of the life that you have known for decades, what parts of it do you want to hold on to and what new experiences do you want to have?
Choosing how to spend your retirement can be an exciting time, and if there aspects that you are unclear on, reach out to experts who can help. A coach can help you achieve goals and financial planners can help you set realistic expectations, counselors can help with any feelings of anxiety over all the changes.
Preparing and working with experts can help make choosing how to spend your retirement an exciting endeavor.
Remember, you can find help with retirement planning by talking to a counselor.