Many of our clients talk to us about setting up retirement plans, contributing to retirement plans, and focusing on the monetary aspects of retirement. But what they don’t do is spend a lot of time thinking about and planning for the nonfinancial aspects of their retirement; they don’t realize it’s the biggest transition they’ll ever go through.
The consequences of not planning can include sitting around with growing boredom. Retirees watch TV an average of 43.5 hours a week, according to Age Wave 2012, and lack of stimulation can be associated with higher risks of alcoholism or depression.
“If a client tells me they’re thinking of retiring soon, I’ll ask them what they’ll do then,” said Jan Towne, CPA/PFS. “‘How will you fill your days? Will you travel extensively? Do you plan to buy a second home?'”
It’s also key to know whether clients plan to work in retirement. “If someone is planning to work part-time, that tells me two things: how they’ll spend part of their days and how they’ll manage their money,” Towne said. “It’s a steppingstone to the financial plan, because if we don’t know how they’ll fill their days, we don’t know what their cash flow needs will be.”
As you approach your retirement planning, think about these nonfinancial aspects:
- Is there something missing from your life that you can pursue with more available time?
- Are there activities that you’re deliberately doing now and planning to do in retirement that can help you gain and sustain energy across four dimensions: physical (active, healthy); emotional (positive, appreciative); mental (new, stimulating); and purposeful (caring, doing meaningful things)?
- Do you feel connected to family, friends, acquaintances, and groups? What can you do to feel more connected?
The answers to these types of questions can help you determine what will make you happy when you do retire, so consider retirement planning from these aspects as well – not just from the monetary side!
Have a question? Contact Lisa Nason
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