Many of us are planning our retirement, some with excited anticipation, some with apprehension. Naturally the primary focus is usually on the financial – can I afford to retire? It is important to assure that you have the financial resources you will need and good financial management practices in place for a successful retirement. But beyond the financial aspects of planning for retirement, we also need to consider the life transition to retirement itself and figure out how to live happy and fulfilled lives in retirement.
Retirement is a journey and like any journey, the more you think about where you want to go, the more enjoyable the experience. As we meet new people and encounter different ideas that sound interesting, we have the flexibility and the time to explore and see if they are appealing.
The key to retirement well-being is to have a balanced “life portfolio”. Explore what is important to you and seek to find balance among your priorities. Even with retirement finances well intact,retirees who have a gap in one or more of these areas may still struggle with their personal retirement well-being. There are four key areas to focus on in your life portfolio:
- Health – Your vitality, longevity and effectiveness depend on your physical capability. Seek out opportunities to stay healthy and be sure you have access to good health care.
- People – Family, friends and community are all important to your well-being. Just remember you have not yet met some people who will be important in your life later, so remain open to creating new relationships.
- Pursuits– Work, volunteering, hobbies, community activities, caregiving, and travel are just a few of your options. Think longer-term. You may live to 95 or 100! Some things require a lot of vitality. Do them now while you can. Consider having a “portfolio of activities,” some of which can be sustained, even if you have limitations.
- Places– Consider not only the home you live in, but also your community. Do you want to downsize or right-size? Being close to family and friends may be a priority for you, but also consider creating a new community of support. Are there opportunities to pursue your passions? Is the community senior friendly, senior focused or senior only?
Start by understanding your financial situation, and make sure you have the resources to follow your retirement path. The right answers are personal. It is important to find your passions and choose activities that create value for you. Keep your spending at a level that allows you to make choices. If you are part of a couple, you may each have your own life portfolio, and you may have a combined life portfolio, and that’s a good thing. Have a plan that will work while you are with your partner, and later on when you may be on your own.
Having a sense of what you want your life portfolio to look like will aid in your discussions of goals for your financial plan during your regular meetings with your Certified Financial Planner™.
Fee-Based Planning offered through W3 Wealth Advisors, LLC – a State Registered Investment Advisor – Third Party Money Management offered through Valmark Advisers, Inc. a SEC Registered Investment Advisor – Securities offered through Valmark Securities, Inc. Member FINRA, SIPC – 130 Springside Drive, Suite 300 Akron, Ohio 44333-2431 * 1-800-765-5201 – W3 Wealth Management, LLC and W3 Wealth Advisors, LLC are separate entities from Valmark Securities, Inc. and Valmark Advisers, Inc.