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Envisioning Your Dream Retirement: A Guide to Planning with Purpose

Let’s talk retirement — not the boring numbers and charts part, but the dream-chasing, world-exploring, perhaps even bungee-jumping part. What does your ideal life look like when the 9-to-5 turns into “I think I’ll go for a mid-morning swim”? Welcome to the first step in retirement planning: crafting your vision.

Why Start with a Vision?

Imagine building a house without a blueprint. Chaos, right? Your retirement plan is just the same! How will you know what you need to build your dream retirement without a clear vision? Here’s why starting with a vision matters:

  1. Direction: Knowing your destination makes the journey clearer.
  2. Motivation: On days when saving feels tough, remembering the ‘why’ can keep you on track.
  3. Personalization: Your retirement should be as unique as you are!

Start With Your Retirement Goals

Before you can plan your retirement, you need to define what it looks like. What are your dreams, aspirations, and priorities for this next chapter? Do you envision:

  1. Traveling the world, immersing yourself in new cultures and cuisines?
  2. Pursuing a passion project, like writing a book or starting a business?
  3. Spending quality time with family, creating lasting memories with loved ones?
  4. Giving back to your community through volunteering or philanthropy?

Your retirement goals are the foundation upon which you’ll build your financial plan. They’ll guide your investment strategies, spending habits, and lifestyle choices.

Consider Your Retirement Lifestyle

Once you’ve identified your goals, it’s time to envision your ideal retirement lifestyle. Consider not only the big-ticket items like where you’ll live or how you’ll spend your days but also the little details that will bring your vision to life.

  • Will you downsize to a cozy condo or maintain a spacious home for hosting gatherings? A recent Nationwide survey indicated that nearly 40% of workers plan to move once they retire. 
  • Do you plan to indulge in luxuries like a boat, RV, or second home?
  • How will you stay active and engaged — through hobbies, classes, or social activities? We’re wired for human connection. Research links loneliness in older adults to higher risks of cognitive decline, depression, and even death. Maintaining meaningful bonds is crucial.
  • What legacy do you wish to leave behind? What injustices set your soul on fire? What projects beckon? According to psychology studies, those who feel their lives have meaning and purpose tend to experience better overall well-being.
  • How can retirement nourish your body, mind, and spirit? Healthy habits — diet, exercise, mental stimulation — pay huge dividends in increased energy, lower medical costs, and independence.

Build Your Retirement Roadmap

With your vision in place, it’s time to create a roadmap to get you there. 

  1. Estimate your retirement expenses: Based on your desired lifestyle, calculate your anticipated monthly and annual retirement expenses. Remember to account for inflation and potential increases in healthcare costs. According to Fidelity’s latest estimates, a 65-year-old couple retiring in 2023 can expect to spend $315,000 on healthcare expenses throughout retirement.
  2. Determine your income sources: Will you have a pension, Social Security benefits, or other sources of guaranteed income? How much can you expect from your investment portfolio? Will you work a part-time job? Accurately projecting your retirement income streams is essential for building a sustainable financial plan.
  3. Assess your savings and investments: Take stock of your current savings, retirement accounts, and investment portfolios. Are you on track to meet your goals, or do you need to make adjustments?
  4. Develop a withdrawal strategy: Once you retire, you must carefully manage your withdrawals to ensure your money lasts. A common rule of thumb is the 4% rule, which suggests withdrawing no more than 4% of your portfolio each year.

As you build your retirement roadmap, a skilled financial planner can be an invaluable partner. They will guide you through defining your desired retirement lifestyle and help you estimate the associated expenses while identifying and optimizing various income sources such as Social Security, pensions, and investment portfolios. 

Your planner can construct a tax-efficient withdrawal strategy and asset allocation plan to ensure your money lasts while also incorporating contingencies for unexpected events or long-term care needs. 

Perhaps most importantly, a financial planner will regularly review and adjust your retirement plan as life circumstances change, keeping you on track toward your envisioned retirement. With their expertise, a financial planner can provide the personalized guidance and ongoing support needed to turn your retirement dreams into reality.

Setting Up the Game Plan

With your vision clearly defined, it’s time to build the structure around your dreams:

  1. Budget: Align your current spending to maximize your savings without sacrificing your quality of life. Audit where your money is going now. Are there any “money leaks” that no longer serve your vision? Could you reallocate funds in smarter ways? The key is maximizing savings without subjecting yourself to a spartan, joyless existence today. Balance is essential.
  2. Invest: Consult a financial advisor to find the right investment strategies that align with your risk tolerance and time horizon. For instance, if your dream is to leave a charitable legacy, you may opt for more conservative investments that provide reliable income streams.
    But if you picture yourself traveling extensively, you may choose a more aggressive growth strategy to bolster your nest egg. Consult a financial advisor to craft a diversified, tax-smart portfolio personalized for you.
  3. Monitor: Regular check-ins on your financial health ensure you stay on track to meet your goals. Establish a schedule (e.g., quarterly or annually) to review your progress and make course corrections as needed. Factors like changing market conditions, new legislation, individual circumstances, and updated priorities may require adjusting your plan over time. 

Life After Retirement

Life after retirement can be filled with new adventures, pursuits, and experiences. For many, it represents a long-awaited opportunity to explore passions and interests that may have taken a backseat during their working years. Traveling the globe, pursuing a creative hobby, or simply enjoying a more relaxed pace of life, retirement offers the freedom to design your days according to your desires and priorities. 

However, this newfound freedom can also bring its own challenges. Without the structure and routine of a traditional work schedule, some retirees may struggle to find a sense of purpose or fulfillment. It’s important to approach this transition with intention, cultivating new routines, social connections, and meaningful activities that align with your values and aspirations. 

Retirement can be a time of personal growth, self-discovery, and reinvention — a chance to embrace new roles, learn new skills, and contribute meaningfully to your community. By thoughtfully designing your retirement lifestyle, you can ensure that this chapter of life is not merely a destination but a journey filled with joy, purpose, and lasting memories.

Legacy Planning Can Help You Realize Your Goals

As you plan for retirement, you don’t have to go it alone. At Legacy Planning, our team takes a personalized approach to help you envision and achieve your ideal retirement lifestyle. We’ll work closely with you to understand your dreams, passions, and priorities and then develop a comprehensive roadmap to turn that vision into a reality. 

To see if we can help you design the retirement you envision, click here to schedule a conversation. With our guidance, you can confidently approach this new chapter, knowing your retirement dreams are within reach.

Content in this material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.


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