Do you have an ideal retirement lifestyle in mind, or are you wondering how to build one that's fulfilling but also achievable? There are many considerations to keep in mind when attempting to make your retirement goals a reality, including your finances, your family, your living situation and your health.
Here are some things to be mindful of as you make a plan for your retirement years.
What's Truly Important to You?
Retirement offers many choices. Take your living situation, for example. You can continue to live in the same community or you can choose to move to a new city, perhaps one that's closer to family or somewhere you've always wanted to live. Some retirees want a summer home and a winter home, while others plan to live in 55+ communities that offer nonstop activities with a nearby senior living campus that offers care services.
For those who are divorced or widowed, building a new life and a community-based retirement lifestyle may be high priorities, while married couples may look forward to spending time with children and grandchildren. Adventurous types might want to explore the world and other cultures. If you're single or a solo ager (without children or grandchildren), you may want to prioritize time with friends and group activities.
When thinking about your retirement, take the time to dig deep and figure out what's truly important to you. Your living situation will form the basis of your retirement lifestyle, so make sure to consider not only what city and what kind of housing you want to live in, but also other factors such as how active you want to be and how close to family members you want to live.
Plan Early for Your Retirement Lifestyle
How are you planning for your retirement goals? It's easy to put your retirement on the back burner while you're building a career, raising a family or caring for aging parents and think, "There will be time later to plan." However, the earlier you begin planning, the easier it is to ensure you'll have the life in retirement that you want. This planning includes thinking about finances — for example, you may need to purchase an annuity or health insurance to help cover expenses — as well as personal and professional planning.
If you're stuck, work with a financial advisor to design a plan that will fit your unique needs. They can advise you on which financial tools are the best for you, whether it be stocks, mutual funds, life insurance, long-term care insurance, annuities or something else. You might be surprised by how easy the process is, even if you don't have a lot of money in savings.
Consider Your Health and Wellness
A significant contributor to the ability to live on your own terms is the quality of your health, so make sure your plans take your wellness needs into consideration. Research from the University of Minnesota confirms that having a regular medical provider beginning in middle age will make you more likely to get preventative care and health screenings and so contributes to better health and well-being.
In your retirement years, being no further than 20 or 30 minutes from your primary care doctor's office and having easy access to hospitals is essential. Medicare Supplement insurance or long-term care insurance can provide additional peace of mind because you'll have support if unexpected health concerns arise.
Wherever you are in your life or financial situation, it's important to start planning now so you can have the retirement you've always wanted. Your future self will thank you.