Turn Your ‘What Ifs’ into ‘What’s Next’ with These Retirement Stepping Stones, Ep #210

Many who approach retirement view it as the ultimate goal, but you could have 30+ years to experience the retirement you’ve worked to build. While much of retirement planning is focused on the numbers, people often fail to intentionally plan out how they’ll spend their time. In this episode, we explore some common retirement pitfalls and then ten stepping stones to help us overcome challenges you might encounter.

We Often Don’t Consider These Retirement Pitfalls

Often we don’t realize until after retirement that a lack of structure, purpose, and planning can lead to an unfulfilling life.

We feel that our value lies in the work we do and without it, we lose our sense of purpose. We also tend to lose the community that structured employment brings.

All of these things can lead to disagreements between spouses and a fear of spending money.

10 Stepping Stones to Think Through in Retirement

These stepping stones can help you ground yourself and make the most of your retirement.

  1. Define your values – Think through your top 5. What is your unique ability? How can you continue using that in a positive way in retirement?
  2. Plan your dream retirement ahead of time – What would your ideal retirement week look like? What is your bucket list?
  3. Combine steps 1 & 2 – Consider your lifestyle and values to plan your spending. Run through what-if scenarios to incorporate them into your plan. Consider how your spending will look and change in retirement
  4. Consider your community – Think about how your community will change once you retire. Build a retirement support system. Look for a retirement mentor who is ahead of you in the retirement process. Pick their brain. Consider the role your family will play. How actively will you be involved in the lives of your kids and grandkids? Reconnect with those you have lost touch with. Where will you go to find spiritual and/or emotional support?
  5. Take a retirement test drive – Build your retirement lifestyle before you retire. Try taking a sabbatical or extended vacation. Consider shifting to part-time or consulting work.
  6. Look at your cash flow – Think through your budgeting ideas and connect them back to your values. Revisit your financial plan each year. Have your expenses increased or decreased?
  7. Understand your retirement income – Where will the income come from? A fee-only financial planner can help you test the feasibility of your retirement plan and set up a retirement paycheck.
  8. Understand the reality of healthcare expenses – Healthcare is a major stressor of retirees–especially those younger than 65. Out-of-pocket healthcare expenses can cost more than you think. Consider all the options available.
  9. Have a backup plan – Optionality is key. Your fee-only financial advisor can help you test your plan A and your plan B.
  10. Create a legacy – Think about how you want your assets will be transferred. This is typically done with estate planning, but you should also consider how you can make an impact in the world and on the people you love. How do you want to be remembered?

What are you doing to prepare for your retirement? If you need help coming up with a game plan reach out to see if we can help you build a financial plan.

Outline of This Episode

  • [5:30] A lack of structure can derail your retirement
  • [8:41] Financial stress
  • [11:23] 10 stepping stones
  • [18:34] Test drive your ideal retirement
  • [27:18] Consider your legacy

Resources & People Mentioned

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