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Why and How to Map Out What Your Life Will Look Like in Retirement

Why and How to Map Out What Your Life Will Look Like in Retirement

Retirement—the golden phase in one’s life when the hustle and commitments take a back seat, and well-earned rest and leisure time take the wheel. However, retirement isn’t just an extended vacation; it’s a significant life transition that requires meticulous planning to get right.

But what does “right” mean anyway?

That’s certainly an existential question that goes far deeper than the scope of this article, but I think there is one thing we can all agree on—we certainly don’t want life to be worse. If anything, I think we can all agree that we hope retirement will be better!

But, “better” lives don’t happen by accident. They happen by design.

To be honest with you, this is part of why my father and I are so passionate about what we do. There are so many lifelong benefits planning for the next stage can bring.

Vision Brings Clarity

My Dad, who juggled being a devoted father, a General Motors employee, and starting Uncommon Cents Investing all at the same time, always said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” In other words, if you don’t care where you end up or how things pan out, you can just get in the car and drive. But if you want some degree of control or agency in where your life goes after you leave the workforce, you’ll have to be intentional about it.

Personally, I like to think about crafting a retirement vision like preparing a nice meal. If you just need to eat, anything you throw together in the kitchen will likely yield an edible result. But if you want to prepare a nice meal, one you’d be proud to share with your friends and family, you’ll need a recipe and the right tools and ingredients to prepare it. You’ll likely even spring for the pricier ingredients and splurge on that limited edition bottle of wine from your favorite vineyard because to you this meal is quite important.

Having a clear vision for your retirement is like picking out the perfect recipe to entertain and delight your guests. It requires you to pick out what you want and take the proper steps to make it.

Your Retirement Is Unlike Anyone Else’s

As neighbors and friends in Rock County, we certainly have some things in common, but we are all still very unique. Whether you were a teacher like the wonderful folks Dad first worked with or spent years clocking in at the local plant, your retirement should be as unique as you are. Knowing what you want helps in tailoring your financial strategies to achieve your specific dreams. In other words, not any old recipe will do. You’ll need the one that feels right to you.

Planning Helps Eliminate Undue Stress

For decades, this quote has spread around the world, being shared among all different types of people and cultures: “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take your breath away.”

No matter who you are, where you live, your age, religion, socioeconomic status or beliefs, as humans we all share the common desire to feel fulfilled, connected, and the all-so-elusive “happy”.  And it’s often the meaningful moments we share with loved ones that make us feel this way. Just as I have fond memories of learning about saving and investing around the dinner table with dad, you’ll want to share stories, laughter, and love with your loved ones in retirement—without the cloud of financial worry or undue stress hanging over your head and your heart.

Proper planning offers the peace of mind that the resources you need are there when you need them so you can do the things that make you feel happy and allow you to have more moments that take your breath away.

3 Steps to Map Out Your Retirement Vision
  1. Dream Big and Get Specific: Whether it’s spending time with the grandkids, traveling to all 50 states, or volunteering, let your imagination run wild. Write down specific goals. It’s easier to strategize for “buying a lakeside cabin in 10 years” than for “having a nice retirement.” What are the events, experiences, routines, and aspirations that will make you feel safe, rewarded, and fulfilled?
  2. Consult a Compass – Your Financial Planner: Just like a trusty compass on an adventure, a Certified Financial Planner™ can guide you through the wilderness of retirement planning. With expertise and tools, we can work together to align your investments with your goals. But unlike a compass, we can also serve as a great sounding board. If I had a nickel for every time a client was able to sort through some pretty heavy decisions with us…
  3. Regularly Review and Adjust Course: Retirement planning isn’t set in stone. It’s like market cycles; it can have its ups and downs. Make it a point to review your goals and financial strategies regularly. Life changes, and your plan should be flexible enough to change with it.

Our roots in Rock County run deep, and we’re here to support the financial tapestry of this community. At Uncommon Cents Investing, you’re not just a client; you’re our neighbor, and your dreams matter. It’s never too early or too late to start planning for the retirement you deserve. So, let’s grab a cup of coffee and start weaving those dreams into a plan.

Warm Regards,

Sheena and the Uncommon Cents Investing Family

Sheena Hanson, CFP® - Investment Advisor Representative and CCO

More About the Author: Sheena Hanson