There are so many choices for that second adulthood that follows retirement. Should we travel the world, buy a second home in a warmer climate, move permanently to a warmer climate, move closer to our children, stay at home and pursue hobbies, go back to school, work part time, become a snow bird, take up Rv travel? Making a rational and financially sound choice requires that we sift through the choices carefully.
I woke up in the night thinking about how my husband and I could have fulfilled our retirement dreams more responsibly. I am not a retirement counselor...I am a retiree leading the snowbird life. We went blundering through the early years of our retirement without a clue as to where the path would take us. Yes, it has been an adventure but I am coming to realize the time (and money?) we could have saved if we had been clearer about what we wanted out of our retirement life. It was not until we actually knew what we wanted that we made good choices. Here are 25 question I think will help you and, if you have a partner or spouse, the other person in your life gain an image in your minds of what your retirement lifestyle might look like.
|Arizona Friends...a wonderful surprise in our retirement life!|
- When were we the happiest in our life?
- Could we do some of the things we miss out on doing when we were young?
- How much money will we have after the dust has settled?
- Would we prefer a 55+ community or do we need to be near a community that includes children?
- What are our hobbies both physically active (golf, tennis, hiking) and relaxing (cards?)
- Can we make friends easily or do we even need friends to have fun?
- Would we want to move to a new location permanently? How would we afford that?"what
- Do we prefer to be outdoors or indoors?
- How long can we endure being away from our family?
- Is it possible that what we dreamed about is not what we will want for an extended period of time?
- If we decide to follow a dream and then don't like it, will we be ruined financially or otherwise?
- How much time do we want to spend together/apart?
- Is living in a small space going to work if you decide to become a snowbird on a small amount of money?
- Do we still want to work part of the time?
- Can we find a way to finance our snowbird lifestyle by working at a resort?
- Can we stand hot or cold weather?
- What are the health issues we need to keep in mind?
- Are we willing to live in a community that is not like home?
- How far away do we want to go? List a few possibilities.
- If we leave the country, (USA or Canada) will there be problems with visas and laws?
- How old will we be when we cannot travel anymore?
- How will my insurance coverage affect where I decide to spend my winters?
- Is the family in agreement over what we decide to do?
- If one refuses to take a step toward what the other wants will that one regret it later?
- How flexible and adventurous are we?
I suggest that you print this list and both partners fill in the answers separately. It will start a conversation that will help you get a clearer picture about what life after work can look like.
Dream the dream but hold onto the reality...oh, AND always spend money less than you have.