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The Other Side of Retirement Planning

posted on

June 02, 2014

As a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor designee, I spend a lot of time working with clients to carefully chart out the financial side of their retirement. During our meetings I will often mention the need to do the other type of retirement planning also – the personal side – the side that involves deciding how they will spend each and every day when they no longer have to punch the ol’ time clock. I ask them to carefully envision that side of retirement and make plans accordingly. 
Rather than me try to address that concept, I asked my good friend and wise life coach, Kelly Walsh to pass along some guidance. 

How to Create Your Retirement Life Preparedness Kit
By Kelly Walsh, President of 1 Smart Life, LLC

We spend our lives planning for retirement often with a focus on money. We carefully imagine stepping into the world of receiving paychecks from our investments rather than an employer and wonder how that will feel. But what else can we be preparing? We can Google instructions on how to prepare a kit for a storm or earthquake but what do we want in our Retirement Life Preparedness Kit?

Disaster kits focus on food, water and shelter, but I want you to do better than survive. I want you to THRIVE! Everyone wants different things out of their retirement years, so think about the following questions and how you can design your own customized kit: 

Home: Get out a map and brainstorm where you might want to land. What’s practical? What’s impractical? Where might you travel? Where have other family and friends moved? Think of somewhere you have never thought of before. 

Relationships: Is there any unfinished business in your circle of relationships? Is there anyone that you want to forgive or ask forgiveness of? Are you grieving? Do you want more love in your life? Are you willing to take steps to prevent past relationships from limiting your future?

Health: We all want to be healthy and well to enjoy our retirement years. What can you start doing now to reduce stress? What health goals have you been meaning to get to but haven’t and what small steps can you take to start managing them? Do you care for yourself as you care for others?

Spirit: Do you have a spiritual practice that gives meaning to your life? What are ways you can show more compassion for others? Yourself? Do you use prayer, meditation, or any other way to energize your spirit? 

Community: What people or places are in your community that you want to be involved with? Would you like to give of your time in some way when you retire? 

Actively Accomplish: What’s on your bucket list? What could be on that list that you haven’t thought of yet? What are some small dreams (take a photography class) and some big ones (set up a charitable foundation)? 

Depending on your answers, you may want different things in your Retirement Life Preparedness Kit. Maybe a beach blanket, a passport, or a motorcycle. Thinking about what you want is sometimes as challenging as figuring out how you will attain it. The earlier you plan, the more options you may be able to have but it’s never too late. 

I hope that you found that to be as valuable as I have. One of my favorite quotes from Kelly is "Some people take more time planning their summer vacation than planning their life. So take a look, create some goals, and make a plan to get the most life out of your life!" For more like this, visit her website, www.1smartlife.com