Thursday, January 17, 2008

What Does Retirement Look Like to You?

Many of us spend a lot of time thinking about how to reach our career goals. From the time we enter the workforce, we are told by those more experienced to always keep our goals in minds, and work on the strategies we need to meet them.

But as the more experienced, job savvy workers begin to retire, it appears they may not be following the advice they've been so keen on giving younger workers. Specifically, many of those facing retirement don't have the foggiest idea what they're going to do when they're not working. They have not set any goals for retirement, or made any strategic moves.

Of course, some will say their goals include remodeling the basement, taking a trip to Italy or spending more time with the grandkids. OK, there's the first six months or year of retirement. Then what?

In reality, many have done little planning for retirement other than making sure they've got the finances to support themselves. Of course, that's important. But many older workers have failed to consider the most critical details of their retirement years, such as what they need to do to be happy.

That's why this weekend is as good as time as any to sit down with a loved one, perhaps a nice bottle of wine (helps the creative processes), and begin to write things down, such as:

1. Listing the 100 things you want to do before you die.

2. Thinking about that if you could put one dream into action after you retire, what would it be? Start a new business? Travel?

3. Writing a brief biography of your life now. Then, write one that reflects your life as you wish it could be.

4. Setting a specific date for retirement. That means the day, the month, the year. Do you realisticially want to retire then, or would you prefer to work part-time or on a contract basis? Do you have the resources and strategies in place to begin your "dream" retirement that day?

Let me add one final note: It's never too early to begin planning your retirement. Even those in their 20s should have a plan of action to make sure they not only have the kind of life they want when they're young -- but also when they are not so young.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Retirement for me is like harvesting all what you have planted over the years, It's enjoying and living to the fullest. So I do believe in early retirement planning saving the best for last.