Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Lifestyle Changes During Retirement

Ron and I think about our retirement years in several phases. This is helpful for planning and budgeting purposes. Each phase is a lifestyle change, but the transition between these stages will likely be gradual. You may have fewer or more phases, and they will be defined by your personal situation, wants and needs.

First, there are the “Early Retirement” years. Regardless of when you retire, this is a period of euphoria, recovery, and adjustment. You are redefining who you are and how you spend your time. Interested in doing all the things you didn’t have time to do before, you can now make time for regular exercise, reading, healthy and leisurely meals, pleasure travel – whatever makes you happy. To stay engaged, you may still want to do a little part time work (volunteer or paid) in a field that interests you. Your health is hopefully still pretty good, so you can be involved in activities you enjoy. Your budget will most likely be higher than in later years.

Next come the “Middle Retirement” years. Been there, done that, and you will be more ready to settle down. You will probably living in the last home you will own, in the locale of your choice, near friends and/or family. Less active and mobile now, you’ll have routines and pastimes that keep you closer to the comfort of home. There may be medical issues to manage, and having health care professionals you know and trust becomes a priority. Your budget settles down too, and expenses are easily projected. Life will be simpler, and your spending will reflect a desire to keep it so.

The “Late Retirement” years are the most difficult to think about. Inevitably, they are associated with old age and end of life. The worst thing we can think of is being incapacitated and unable to care for ourselves – especially if we don’t have the financial means to obtain managed care. (Me; I’m aiming for the end coming suddenly on a beautiful day on the golf course – but I don’t think I get that choice.) Our plan and budget includes selling a home and liquidating other assets to move into some sort of assisted living facility together. We are hoping that the aging of the Baby Boomers continues to drive the establishment of more, and more attractive, assisted living options to help us gracefully approach the end of our lives.

Your retirement plan and budget will need to address the phases of retirement you foresee, and the lifestyle associated with each. Hone your dreams to account for the eventual changes coming in your lives.

No comments:

Post a Comment