Retirement should be a celebratory event. After all, you’ve probably been planning your retirement for years or even decades. It’s a time to free yourself from the trappings of the working world and take control of your schedule. You can travel, spend time with family, pursue a lifelong dream or simply relax and enjoy your newfound downtime.
While retirement is usually a happy occasion, it can also be a difficult transition for some. Some retirees aren’t sure how to fill their free time. Others struggle to find a purpose or meaning without the challenge that comes with a busy career. Many retirees fill the void by pursuing costly activities, like travel and expensive hobbies.
You can avoid the financial and emotional pitfalls by thinking about your priorities and how you would like to spend your free time. Identify the interests that get you most excited about retirement. What activities provide you with the most inspiration and enthusiasm?
Not sure what will be your inspiration in retirement? Below are a few common passions for retirees, along with tips on how you can pursue these passions in a way that also protects your financial stability:
Is your family the center of your universe? Or after investing so much time in your career, are you ready to focus your energy on your children and grandchildren?
If spending time with your family is a top priority, the good news is that it may be a cost-effective activity, especially if they live nearby. If your family is on the other side of the country, or the world, consider how you can supplement travel with technology. Perhaps you could invest in a webcam so that you can have video calls and chats in between in-person visits.
You may also want to help your family financially. That’s especially true if you feel you have more than enough assets to fund your retirement. You may want to contribute to your grandchildren’s education or distribute inheritances to your children while you’re still alive. If so, you may want to consult with a financial professional, so you can develop a gifting strategy that fits your budget and meets your needs.
Many retirees use their newfound free time to learn a new skill or hobby. For example, former President George W. Bush has used his retirement to become an artist.1
Do you have a lifelong interest that you never got the chance to pursue? Perhaps art, golf, writing or some other skill? Retirement is a great time to take up that new hobby. In fact, your new interest could even help keep you in healthy mental and physical condition, reducing possible health care and long-term care costs in the future.
Your local college may offer low-cost adult education classes to help you get started. Or you may consider a part-time job in your favorite hobby. For instance, your local golf course may offer jobs working as a ranger or a starter on the course. Or if art is your passion, you might consider working or volunteering at a local gallery or museum. If you’re already a master in your area of interest, you could provide lessons to generate side income. Be creative and think of ways to enjoy your hobby in a cost-efficient way.
Travel is a top priority for many retirees. Whether you want to travel the world or only hit your favorite beach a few times a year, travel is a great way to enjoy your free time.
While travel can be a thrilling experience, it can also be expensive. It may be wise to write out your travel plans in advance of your retirement. What locations would you like to visit? How often would you like to travel? Do you want to stay in five-star hotels? Or can you go on a budget? What does your ideal vacation look like?
Once you have answers to those questions, you can estimate the cost of your travel plans and see how they fit into your budget. You may find that you either need to save more or scale back on your planned spending.
Also, be sure to look for low-cost travel opportunities. For example, churches and other nonprofit groups sometimes combine group travel with volunteer work. Or you may be able to pool together with other retired friends to enjoy a trip together.
Ready to develop your strategy to fund your dream retirement? Let’s talk about it. Contact us at Grand Canyon Planning Associates, LLC. We can help you identify your retirement inspiration and create your funding plan. Let’s connect and start the conversation.