It’s time to start planning your summer, and whether you’re going to laze around on the beach, visit friends, or take a trip, it’s important to also start thinking about your retirement plan. On average, we spend more time every year planning for vacations than planning for retirement – and retirement is much longer than any vacation you will take. Summer is definitely a time to relax, but it’s also the perfect time to think about what you want your future retirement, the endless summer, to look like.
Start off with the “What”
If you and your spouse are traveling together, use the hours on the plane or highway to start discussing what you want your retirement to look like, your goals, and a general timeline. If you have time off, you can “practice” retirement by trying out new activities like volunteering, spending more time with friends and family, or picking up a new or forgotten hobby, it can be a good way to plan how you will fill your time and find happiness in retirement. Consider if you want to travel a lot when you first retire and if you will move. Once you have a vision for your retirement, you can move onto figuring out how much it will cost.
Move on to the “How”
Think about how you afford the vacations you currently take: Do you save for them, or have a specific vacation budget? Planning for how you will afford retirement is a much more detailed process, which is why it helps to have a professional at your side. Start thinking about how much your desired lifestyle in retirement will cost you, and then begin calculating how much you will need to withdraw from your retirement accounts. It’s also important to consider any income from your investments, and plan for when you should start taking Social Security.
Think of all the details that go into planning a vacation: There are the travel arrangements, the hotel, activities, and setting a budget. While it’s certainly important to enjoy both vacation and retirement, the stakes are much higher when it comes to retirement and there are even more elements that go into planning this 30-plus year vacation.
Here at Bradshaw Financial Planning, we can help you create a plan for the longest vacation of your life. We’ll take your unique retirement goals into account, and help you put all the pieces of the puzzle together. If you’re taking the time to plan a vacation this summer, consider also taking the time to come in for a no-cost, no-obligation financial review.