While being financially ready for retirement is important, it’s not the only criterion for a successful next chapter. If you find yourself approaching retirement without a clear plan for how you’ll spend your time, here are some suggestions for envisioning your ideal future.

Use Journaling and Vision Boards

If you are comfortable channeling your creative side, you may find success by journaling your answers to these questions:

  • Where do I want to be in 10, 15, or 20 years?
  • What will I be experiencing?
  • Who will I be with?
  • What will a typical day look like for me?
  • Who will I most want to interact with – family? Friends? My community? – And how?

Some people also find that creating a vision board can be effective in helping them visualize their future. A vision board can be as simple as pinning pictures (your own or from magazines) or articles to a bulletin board, or creating a Pinterest account and adding pictures you find online. Journals and vision boards can be tangible reminders of your ideal future and can evolve as needed if you desire change.

Write Your Own Eulogy

In a recent article for TheStreet.com, Phil Corcoran, CFP®, financial advisor and managing director of Savant’s office in McLean, VA, suggested beginning with the end in mind. “Writing your own eulogy is one of the best exercises you can do as you plan for your retirement,” according to Phil. “When you write, read, or hear someone else’s eulogy, you get to know how that person impacted the lives of others. When you write your own, you get to know how you think about yourself. And these insights are exactly what’s needed to get a better idea of what the rest of your life should look like.” The exercise can be a bit cathartic, too – Phil says that since your eulogy is for your eyes only, you can feel free to tell the story about the “take this job … and file it” legendary exit from your job, discuss how long you lived, how many books you authored, and more.

Create a One-Page Personal Plan

Wayne Titus, CPA/PFS, AIFA®, a financial advisor and managing director of Savant’s Plymouth, MI office, recommends keeping track of goals by creating a one-page personal plan. “Start with your goals and work backward,” Wayne says. “What will you need to do in 10 years, five years, one year, or each quarter to accomplish them?” Wayne also suggests having your spouse create a plan so you can review them together.

While being financially independent may be your “desired state” when you retire, there’s obviously much more to consider for a successful retirement. At Savant, we’re on the journey with you and always have your best interests at heart. Let us know how we can help!

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