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As You Plan for Retirement, Consider These Six Common Retirement Goals to Help Bring Your Future into Focus

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Here at AgingOptions Blog you know we love a good article that covers the length and breadth of the retirement experience (and doesn’t just focus on finances). We know as well as you do that retirement is a holistic lifestyle change, not just a financial one.

So we thought this USNews article by Rachel Hartman was particularly helpful, as she breaks down the retirement mindset into six common goals that can help you have a more well-rounded retirement experience. Let’s see how she lays out the course for your retirement future. 

Goals Can Keep You From “Feeling Adrift”

Hartman writes, “Setting goals can help you determine the best way to use your time and resources when you retire. Without a goal in mind, you might start feeling adrift after several months of no schedule or sense of routine.”

Here is Hartman’s list of six common retirement goals to help you stay on track with your retirement planning. Some of these are familiar, while others are ideas you may not have considered recently.

Goal #1: Set a Retirement Budget

As usual, the list from US News begins with finances…but doesn’t end there. Financial planner Kurt Heineman says, “Having a future vision helps drive our behavior to support our current goals.” He goes on to say, “Adding numeric values to the goals makes them concrete and achievable.”

Hartman explains, “A starting point involves considering what you want to do and when you want to retire. You can then talk to an advisor to see how much you need to have set aside.  If some of your first options for lifestyle don’t fit into your retirement budget, you can rework factors to reduce costs and live within your means.”

We would add that this is points to the need for a financial dashboard – a planning tool that can help you gain a clearer picture of how today’s decisions on saving, investing and spending will affect your lifestyle for decades to come. Contact us for more information.

Goal #2: Plan a Milestone Event

While it’s common to plan a big event or party to kick off retirement, it can be wise to build other events and milestones into your retirement years to make the passage of time feel significant. Jim Eutsler of Cincinnati-based HCM Wealth Advisors told US News, “A common goal pre-retirees state they would like to have in place for retirement is a luxurious trip taken the year of or the year after retirement. The benefit is primarily non-tangible in that it gives the individual something to continually look forward to.”

A “luxurious and freedom-filled event” could mean pretty much anything, as long as it’s within your means to do so. Hartman writes, “Some people might look forward to a three-month stay in Europe. Others could rent an RV for a month and travel within their state. Retirees might opt to drive cross-country and travel at their own pace. Regardless of the choice, the financial factors will need to be weighed and accounted for beforehand.”

Goal #3: Prioritize Wellness

While luxury might be high on the priority list for some, Hartman suggests that wellness—exercise and proper diet—could be even more accessible and important now that you have thje added freedom to set your own routines.

Wellness covers most of the basics, as Hartman suggests: eating a “balanced, nutritious diet”, exercising daily, getting the proper amount of sleep, and actively seeking to avoid stress. The upshot? This kind of regimen can help you avoid spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on health care!

We would add here that choosing the right doctor – in this case, a board-certified geriatrician – is a critical step toward getting age-appropriate care. Again, contact us and we’ll gladly refer you to a geriatrician near you.

Goal #4: Discover New Interests

Hartman writes, “Whether it’s RV travel, gardening clubs, art classes or learning a new language, workers frequently dream of doing something different in retirement. The anticipation can serve as a motivation to save each month. It can also help retirees stay positive and feel engaged.”

Instead of dropping money on large purchases or overcommitting yourself to a busy schedule, the best suggestion is to try out activities you’re interested in before diving in. Volunteering and joining clubs or groups can be a great way to dip your toe in the water, and these activities can generate lifelong benefits in terms of sociability and a sense of purpose.

Goal #5: Re-think Residences

As we’ve explored on the blog before, your residence is a major part of your retirement planning. Maybe paying off your mortgage is the goal, or downsizing to a smaller home. Maybe you want to purchase a second home or a vacation house.

Regardless of your plans, make sure they are based on your specific needs and desires. Wealth adviser Eutsler says of retirees’ residence goals, “The goal is often to get themselves in a place, physically and mentally, where they feel the most comfortable and able to enjoy the post-working years.” As Rajiv has often said, don’t wait to make those housing choices: the longer you delay, the harder that move becomes, physically and emotionally.

Goal #6: Leave a Legacy

Hartman writes, “If you have family members including children and grandchildren, you may be interested in passing on a portion of your savings to the next generations. Some retirees are passionate about certain causes and want to leave an amount to a charity.”

In order to make sure you’re setting up a legacy properly and with all your ducks in a row, Hartman suggests consulting a financial advisor to discuss your estate planning.

Whatever you do, make sure you put planning behind it to make sure that your legacy is as airtight and well-researched as possible.

My Life, My Plan, My Way: Get Started on the Path to Retirement Success

At AgingOptions we believe the key to a secure retirement is the right retirement plan – yet statistics show that 70 percent of retirement plans fail. That’s why for nearly two decades we’ve been dedicated to the proposition that a carefully-crafted, fully comprehensive retirement plan is the best answer to virtually any contingency life may throw your way as you age.  Our slogan says it all: My Life, My Plan, My Way.

When it comes to retirement planning, most people focus on one fairly narrow issue: money. Financial planning is an important component of retirement planning. However, people heading towards retirement often make the mistake of thinking that a little financial planning is all that’s required, when in fact most financial plans are woefully inadequate. What about your medical coverage? What if you have to make a change in your housing status – will that knock your financial plan off course? Are you adequately prepared legally for the realities of retirement and estate planning? And is your family equipped to support your plans for the future as you age?

The best way we know of to successfully blend all these elements together – finance, medical, housing, legal and family – is with a LifePlan from AgingOptions. Thousands of people have discovered the power of LifePlanning and we encourage you to the same. Simply visit our website and discover a world of retirement planning resources.  Make certain your retirement planning is truly comprehensive and complete with an AgingOptions LifePlan.  Age on!

(originally reported at

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