Retirement is about having the opportunity to focus on LIVING!

By April 27, 2017Blog

Both my friends and my clients (sometimes they are the same person) often ask me: “What’s the most important thing I need to do to prepare for retirement?”

I usually tell them that there’s no one thing that’s most important, but rather a lot of things. For example: securing retirement income, managing your tax situation, or ensuring your investment portfolio keeps ahead of inflation. These are just a few examples. But when it comes to your retirement, here’s a piece of advice that all too often goes unheeded:

“If you can dream it, you can do it.”

Retirement is about finally having the opportunity to focus on living. It’s no longer about getting ahead in life, but experiencing life itself. For that reason, retirement should be fun. It should be enlightening. It should be rejuvenating. Above all, retirement should be…whatever it is you want it to be!

However, there are many people who never take the time to dream. They never create their bucket list; never ponder their deepest, sweetest desires. It’s quite possible to spend too much time worrying about how to retire and not enough on why you’re retiring, or what you want to do in retirement. People who make this mistake run the risk of experiencing the worst scenario of all:

Boredom.

To prevent that from happening, all you need is a plan. All you need is a dream. So what’s your plan for retirement? What’s your dream?

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Write the next Great American novel.
  • Raise horses on your farm.
  • Start an entirely new career as a standup comic.
  • Work as a tour guide at the Guggenheim.
  • Follow the voyage of Darwin’s Beagle through the Galapagos.
  • Listen to jazz in a smoky bar in Paris.
  • Design and build your own house.
  • Compete in AAU Masters swimming at 80.
  • Build a log cabin from the ground up.
  • Drop anchor at EVERY ISLAND of the Caribbean.
  • Build up your collection of fine wines.

Have the freedom to do what interests you versus what needs to be done!

You want more? You can definitely do more. Create a beautiful garden. Give your spouse a chance at a career. Ski for 100 days a season. Volunteer. Finally, finally use all of your frequent flyer miles. Create a world that consists of nothing but a hammock, a pitcher of lemonade, and a stack of John Grisham novels. Open your own bed and breakfast. Finally get a college degree. Trek the Himalayas. Visit all 50 states. Visit every major ballpark. Relax. Go on a Safari in South Africa. Write movie reviews for the local paper. Climb a 20,000 foot mountain. Rent a barge for a canal tour in Europe. Invest in start-up companies. Coach youth soccer, baseball, and/or basketball. Drive from Alaska to Patagonia. Run the Boston and New York City Marathons. Play in a garage band. Play Bridge for money. Just play! Go on at least three cruises a year. Act in community theater. Dinner and a movie…every night! Learn to play the piano! Read Russian novels. Run for local political office. Give back to all of those who helped you. Do all of the things that you have been afraid of: skydiving, bungee jumping, and hang gliding. RV along Route 66 with your spouse and your dogs.

As you know, finances are more than just numbers and concepts. Maintaining your finances is about living the life you always wanted to live. If your retirement is coming up, it’s time to start planning. More than that, it’s time to start dreaming.

So if there’s one piece of advice I can give you, it would be this:

“If you can dream it, you can do it.”

Leave a Reply