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Retirement Lifestyle Planning

retirement planning lifestyle servicesChances are that you spend appreciable amounts of time on retirement planning. Many retirement decisions tie into the topic of finances: steps of how you save money, invest it, preserve it from taxes, spend it, and leave some behind to loved ones. But what about retirement lifestyle planning?

Many seniors and baby boomers have concerns that are money-related. In fact, you may have some yourself. Ask yourself, have you thought of some of these inquiries in the course of your own retirement planning:

  • "How much do I need to live comfortably?"
  • "How do I know I am on track to retire?"
  • "What should I do to ensure I have enough income?"
  • "How much should I save for retirement?"
  • "When can I retire?"
  • And so on...

Many Americans think of money when it comes to retirement planning. But the truth is it's just one part of it. There is the process of actually planning for how we will live our lives in retirement. Have you done any Retirement Lifestyle Planning yourself yet?

Retirement Lifestyle Planning: What Is It?

retirement planning lifestyle picture 3Retirement lifestyle planning involves more than just money. It means figuring out how you will actually live out your post-career years. This is a point of exploring and deciding on retirement activities that will be meaningful and that will fulfill you. It's how we prepare for a career departure and then transition to living the life we want, doing the things we love. All of this spans many areas of life, including:

  • Social connections and community engagement
  • Physical health and wellness
  • Financial security and peace of mind
  • Mental and emotional well-being
  • Place of residency
  • Personal recreation and activities
  • Spirituality


So, be bold and concentrate on your retirement dreams -- what your ideal retirement would be. For some people, it means active vacationing, day-trips, and other getaways year-round. Other retirees may prefer to stay near home, doting on grandchildren, volunteering in their communities, and generally being around family and friends. And for others, it may be spending quality time on the green or devoting attention to other enjoyable, personal hobbies.

The point is that everyone has different goals. Knowing how much money you will need depends on the retirement you envision -- and what financial resources you should have in place to pay for it.

Mapping Out Your Retirement Lifestyle Vision

The questions of money issues are important. But before answering them, it's even more important to map out your retirement lifestyle. Think about it. After many years of hard work, doesn't it make sense to decide how your money will work for you?

As you consider what your post-career lifestyle might look like, here are some helpful tips to help you get started with your lifestyle planning journey.

Retirement Lifestyle Planning Tips

Location and Place of Residency. retirement planning lifestyle pic 2There are many retirement decisions to make, one of the biggest which is where you will live. Do you plan to stay in your current place of residence, or will you relocate to another part of the country? Some retirees relocate for a change in venue or to move into new settings. For example, a retired couple may hold a second property in Florida for seasonal, "snowbird" residency. Or becoming permanent state residents may be of interest due to Florida's mild climate and retiree-friendly atmosphere.

If you stay in your area and desire less home maintenance obligations, downsizing may be an option. A smaller house probably would mean less intensive, lower-cost upkeep or repair needs. Should relocation to a new area be on the agenda, you may want to consider:

  • Cost of living there, especially relative to where you live now
  • What cost-of-living trends are likely to be in the future, based on prior data
  • Living costs for rental units and/or housing, depending on your preferences
  • The surrounding communities, what they offer, and traveling distance to destinations of interest
  • Culture of local populations, especially the retiree community

Your home is your castle, and your location a gateway to opportunities for social engagement. Speak with trusted friends about areas that may be of interest, and use the Internet to learn more about these locales. U.S. News Money, Forbes, and Huffington Post all have complete information on "Best Places to Retire," ranked on varying economic and lifestyle variables. And you will want to consider downsizing if you stay in your current area, Zillow and Realtor are a few places on which you can connect with local real estate agents.

Lifestyle Considerations. No matter the location, another big decisionpoint is how you spend time in retirement. Now you don't have to deal with the "hustle-and-bustle" that comes with a 9-5 job. It's a matter of deciding what to do on a daily basis, now that you have more leisure time. To name some possibilities:

  • Many Americans as retirement a point for adventure, after years of devotion to work and other obligations.
  • Daytrips to small towns in your state, excursions in national or state parks, long cruises, and getaways to exclusive destinations are just a few options for the travel bug.
  • Or you may want to check out gourmet dining or other exciting opportunities in your hometown, if staying local or cost-efficiency are concerns.
  • Other retirees may get an entrepreneurial itch. For example, retirees have been flocking to franchising business opportunities in greater numbers, according to the International Franchise Association.
  • Exciting, secondary careers or consulting gigs may be another source of personal fulfillment. Connecting with local trade associations in your industry of choice, SCORE, and your local network of chambers of commerce, to name some avenues, can jumpstart opportunity.
  • Consider reaching out to business or personal connections for new, exciting business or work opportunities, as well.

Looks for tools and resources to envision your retirement vision. Retirement lifestyle workshops or pre-retirement seminars can help you move past the stage of vague activity brainstorming. The benefit of these retirement lifestyle planning steps is they help create a clear outline of how you can enjoy your leisure time.

Taking Action. retirement lifestyle planning img 4Once your lifestyle expectations are set, run some numbers. You need to be sure you can pay for your desired lifestyle.

  • What financial resources do you need to sustain it?
  • Can Social Security, a pension, life savings, guaranteed income vehicles, and systematic withdrawals from retirement accounts meet your lifestyle costs?
  • Compare monthly lifestyle costs with income you will draw from your nest egg and other sources of retirement income.
  • Will this be enough, or will you have to scale back your dreams, work longer, or seek part-time employment to pay for it?

Consider "test-piloting" your desired lifestyle for a few weeks to determine if it's really what you want. This can also help you envision what longer-term costs may be involved.

Remember, your retirement vision doesn't have to be out of reach. With the proper steps, Retirement Lifestyle Planning goes a long way toward helping you achieve your goals. Don't be afraid to dream big and enjoy the lifestyle you worked hard for.

Need help with planning out the income side of your retirement lifestyle? SafeMoney.com can assist you. Use our Find a Licensed Advisor section to connect directly with an independent financial professional, and to request a personal strategy session to discuss your needs and goals. And should you have any questions or concerns, call 877.476.9723.

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