Planning for Retirement: Your Greatest Vacation

June 06, 2017

It’s often said that the average person puts more time into planning their vacations than their retirement. Perhaps it’s the immediate satisfaction that comes with a well-planned trip, but retirement could be your longest vacation ever! Don’t you want to be ready?

We’ve come up with a few ways to trick yourself into thinking you’re planning a vacation, while still prepping for retirement.

  1. Where will you stay?
    Choosing a hotel can be a make-or-break moment for your vacation, and it’s no different for retirement. Will you want to stay in your current home or downsize? Will you have to worry about a mortgage payment in retirement? Would it make more financial sense to rent instead of own as you get older? Would it be beneficial to move to another place where taxes are lower?
  2. Where will you eat?
    Before vacationing, it’s important to do some research on what restaurants you’ll want to try (and which restaurants to avoid!). Retirement planning addresses this question a little differently, focusing on broader questions about your lifestyle. Will you choose to eat out more or less once you’re retired? What hobbies will you want to pick up in your spare time? And most importantly, how much will you want to spoil the grandkids? These fun lifestyle questions are exciting, but can incur additional expenses. You may want to account for these in your retirement planning.
  3. Are you prepared for unexpected costs?
    On vacation, costs can add up, and quickly. Maybe you ended up taking toll roads you didn’t think you’d come across or had to pay extra fees to check your bags because you brought too many souvenirs back (which were also more than you were planning on spending!).
    In retirement, you can also come across unexpected costs. These expenses can be a bit more substantial – things like major home repairs, new vehicles, even nursing home and assisted living.
  4. What’s on your pre-departure checklist?
    There’s nothing more stressful than trying to complete your pre-vacation to-do list. It’s a crunch to the finish line and every step seems vital. You’ve got to make sure your doors are locked, the alarm is set, the pets are taken care of, someone’s checking your mailbox and collecting your newspaper, even that the fridge is cleaned out so you don’t come home to a moldy mess.
    Just like vacation, there’s a pre-departure checklist for retirement. Before you walk away from work and the consistency of a paycheck, there’s a list of items to be sure you address. When will you start Social Security? Have you created a plan that accounts for inflation? Do you know what your retirement lifestyle will cost?

Just like vacation, retirement can be a blast. While planning for retirement can get dull and feel arduous at times, the pay-off is great. All you have to do is sit back, kick your feet up, and enjoy the years you’ve worked so hard for!

If you’re wondering whether you’re prepared for your financial future, or looking to set up an income plan for your own retirement, we can help. Set up an appointment with one of our advisors today to begin the conversation.

Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Adviser. Member FINRA/SIPC.