What Your Financial Planner Didn’t Tell You About Retirement Planning

Your retirement planning and financial planners are closely linked in most people’s minds. Everyone knows that it’s important to structure your finances properly for retirement. If you choose a good Financial Planner they will manage that very well. They have the knowledge and expertise to suggest investment strategies as well as safe havens for your money in turbulent times. They provide an essential service for those of us starting to plan towards our retirement years.

But the Financial Planner is focused on your finances, not your lifestyle!

Retirement lifestyle planning
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It’s up to you to know what you want to do with your life once you retire. That seems so easy, doesn’t it?  After all you have spent a lifetime at work thinking about how great it will be when you have more freedom of time and freedom to do what you want to do.  That’s the problem.  Do you really know what you want to do?

Most people spend much more time planning their pre or post-retirement holiday than they do planning the lifestyle they want to live after their retirement.

Have you thought through your lifestyle plans?

Problem is, when you visit your Financial Planner to discuss your future, they presume that you know what you want to do with those retirement years. Faced with the question of “What are your plans?” few of us are going to admit that we don’t actually have any definite plans yet.  So we fall back on the default settings – the things we always thought we might do.

You’ve changed and your lifestyle needs have changed too

But that default position is possibly no longer true for you. You have changed over the years, as have your interests and your lifestyle needs. That beautiful holiday area you always loved to visit that seemed an ideal retirement location some years ago? Does it still hold the same charms? The area where family and friends lived may have been where you desired to live? But do those people plan to remain there? Are your relationships still the same?  Does the area still attract you in the same way? Your interests and activities will have evolved over the years. And the attraction of having good medical and shopping facilities close to home become more important as you get older.

Your retirement lifestyle planning

Your ideal retirement lifestyle needs to be carefully designed. If you are in a relationship, you and your partner both have a particular set of needs, wants, dreams, interests, passions, and it would be most unusual if you both needed exactly the same lifestyle to live out your dreams. You can make plans on your own, but to ensure that you both achieve your best lifestyle requires strong communication and some shared planning.

To settle for anything less robs you of years of fulfillment. If you are on your own there is a whole other set of considerations.

Know what you really want before you make major decisions

Making the wrong retirement lifestyle decisions can be expensive and very stressful. You want to get the lifestyle planning right first before you make any financial decisions so that your planning informs all the other decisions that you make.

Before you see your financial planner

Before you go to see a Financial Planner for retirement planning it is wise to have given lots of thought … and discussion if that is how you make your best decisions…. about what you want and need in your retirement lifestyle and what would make it a “dream retirement lifestyle” for you. If you don’t have the vision of this lifestyle it will be almost impossible to make it happen!

BoomersNextStep helps you with your retirement lifestyle planning. Through our blog posts we encourage people of the baby boomer generation to plan a fulfilling retirement lifestyle. We also encourage our readers to use their skills and experience to bring in extra income if that is something that interests them.

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Jenni Proctor