Have you ever thought about what your retirement lifestyle would be like? How are you going to spend your days and weeks? Have you thought about creating your retirement lifestyle goals?
With retirement approaching, I have a wonderful vision of my new life. Sleeping late. Taking time to go through the day. Enjoying my morning coffee on the deck or just being lazy.
However, after years of a structured life and busy schedules, it will be hard to deal with endless hours. Going from working a full-time job to having no specific plans for each day might be exciting or depressing.
The lifestyles of today’s retirees are so different from the lifestyle of our parents. Today’s retirees are so active. They travel, volunteer, work part-time, play sports, or start new businesses. They like to spend time with family and friends and learn new technology or skills.
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Most future retirees think about financial goals of retirement – “Can I afford to retire?” “How much money do I need to have a secure retirement?” While financial security is important, it is only a small part of what it means to have a happy retirement.
If you are in your 50s or 60s, planning your retirement lifestyle is a smart idea. Look at your retirement as a perfect opportunity for new creations and new adventures because it can be the best time of your life.
Begin the planning process by creating your retirement lifestyle goals. You have been creating goals to achieve things throughout your life and planning a retirement lifestyle is no different. After all, having a goal means you know where you are going and what it takes to get there.
Here are some tips for helping you to plan your future lifestyle:
Envision your retirement lifestyle.
How do you envision your retirement? The point of answering this question is to define what will be important in your new life.
The minute you say goodbye to your coworkers your full retirement starts. What is next for you? You need to figure out what you would like to do for the next 20 or 30 years of your life.
Take a couple of minutes to ask yourself:
- How will my life change when I retire?
- What will I do with my time?
- What do I like to do?
- Who will I spend my time with?
Start by setting up big picture goals. What kind of things you would like to do when you retire. First, take a piece of paper and create all the goals you like even you are not sure you can afford them.
Then, group the goals between Wants (what you would like to have) and Wishes (what you wish or dream to have). Call it your retirement to-do list or bucket list.
Here are a few ideas of retirement lifestyle goals:
Travel – What are your travel goals? Do you want to travel every year? Or do you want to make one special trip? Where do you want to travel? Do you have a travel fund? Have you set up your travel budget?
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Celebration – Celebrating a special event can make a great goal. What special events do you look forward to celebrating? A family reunion, an anniversary, or a retirement party? Or maybe your daughter or son’s wedding coming up and you want to help to organize and pay for the wedding.
Downsizing – Moving out of your big house into a small rental apartment or condo can be a big lifestyle changing event. It will require a lot of planning such as selling the house, reorganizing your belongings, downsizing your vehicles, finding a new place to live, etc.
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Home improvement – Do you plan to continue living in your home for a long time? Do you have big plans to renovate your “old house” to be your dream home or to be more age-friendly?
Vacation home – It is a dream for many people to have a vacation home. Maybe now it is a good time for that vacation home you always wanted. Make it a retirement lifestyle goal and make it come true.
A sailboat, or a luxury car – Do you always wanted to have a sailboat or to drive a luxury car? Then go for it. Make it a lifestyle goal and be happy that you will be driving what you want.
Start a new business or new hobby – If you want to start a new business or develop a new hobby make it a goal and make it happened.
Health habits – Creating new health routines can make an excellent retirement lifestyle goal. Initially, you can start by going to the gym every morning and establishing better sleep routines. Next, you might decide to stop eating processed food, take cooking classes, and learn how to cook at home.
Social network – The professional network you built before retirement is not going to satisfy your social needs in retirement. When you stop working it will be hard to keep in touch with many of your colleagues. They will move on with their lives at work and you will move with your new retirement life. Make it a retirement lifestyle goal to develop new relationships and create your social network.
Volunteer – Many people plan to do some form of volunteering after they retire. Volunteering is a great way to make new friends, enjoy time with like-minded people and simply get out of the house.
Transform your big goals into small steps.
While we are working, we are accustomed to reaching the goals set by others. In retirement, we need to learn how to create the goals relating only to ourselves.
When you set a clear goal, it helps to get a sense of direction.
I like to write down my goals on a piece of paper. In the beginning, my goals come out as wishes. I would write on paper “I would like to write a book”. But then a few weeks later the wish becomes a goal, and I would put it on my agenda. Then I start taking small steps in that direction and slowly my wish becomes a well-designed plan.
If your big goal is to lose weight, start by breaking it into small steps. In the beginning, you can plan on walking 3 times a week. Then slowly you begin jogging 3 times a week. Next, you would look at your eating habits and maybe decide on cooking homemade meals or go vegan for a month.
Creating retirement lifestyle goals will help to transform your wishes into action plans.
Regardless of the goal, the results of this simple process can be powerful. It will help to clarify your direction, provide a feeling of control, and give you a sense of accomplishment.
Structure your days.
Recently I read several articles pointing out that you need to learn how to live slowly in retirement. The idea behind this approach is to enjoy every day instead of ticking things off your to-do list.
Take your time and think about what you want to accomplish by the end of the year. What do you want to do during the summer? And maybe what are your plans for the winter?
You can plan to learn many things – how to sew, how to restore furniture, how to bake, or cook a few new recipes. You can organize a get together event or a trip to visit friends next summer.
The key is to have an overall plan and then break it into smaller steps. Having a couple of things set in each category will help to manage your time.
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Have a sense of accomplishment.
I have started blogging in 2019. My first post was published on January 17th. I still remember this date clearly because it was a very important moment in my life. The idea of blogging came up as a wish instead of writing a book. I decided to do a little bit of research on this topic. Then after a year of researching, I found myself with a new blog and multiple social media accounts.
I have to admit I struggled to manage a full-time job and blogging as my new side hustle. Being a non-native English speaker adds to this challenge.
The technical part of blogging is the hardest one. I spent hours trying to set up my website and making it work. In addition to writing and editing blog posts, I have to deal with email marketing, sign-up forms, plug-ins, images, website maintenance, and more.
But I am not planning to stop blogging any time soon!
Every day I try to do better with time management. It gets easier with a routine. Once I break down the bigger goal into smaller pieces, it feels more achievable. And each time one of those steps got accomplished I can pat myself on the back.
With a little planning, your retirement lifestyle can be exactly what you imagine. Make your retirement years the best time of your life.
You can create your own active and happy retirement without a million dollars saved in your retirement funds. Retirement is not just about financial planning. It is about your time and how you spend it.
Have you ever thought about your retirement lifestyle goals? How can you break down those goals into manageable steps?
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