Visioning Your Future Retirement: How to Write Your Own Story

 A recent Wall Street Journal headline caught my eye and got the wheels turning in my head.  It read, The Let’s Sell Our House and See the World Retirement.”  This article outlines an interesting variation to the more traditional retirement theme of choosing a static location to call home for retirement.  It’s an unconventional take on retirement that required some careful planning and some carefree exploration. As the globe-trotting couple says in the article, “When all else fails, walking and gawking are free everywhere.”

The retirees featured in the piece sold their permanent residence and live in furnished apartments and houses around the world.  They call themselves senior gypsies that put down roots – at least for a month or two.  The simplified version of their story is that they are both happier in life while “on the road.”  Health is good and the desire to see the world in bigger bites than 2-3 weeks at a time is their primary motivation. 

The message I find compelling is that traditional financial planning principals provided the fundamental backdrop for the decision-making but the individual creativity of the retirees provided the unique detail.  This means that a myriad of possibilities exist for all retirees contemplating future retirement. We can start with financial planning as a home base and then craft a unique retirement that provides value and worth regardless of individual preferences. 

Here are three tried and true tips to consider when visioning your future retirement picture:

  1. Engage in honest conversations about what is important in retirement.  This simple exercise has a way of opening doors to future possibilities. 
  2. Own the reality check.  Crunching the numbers provides context and insight to what can be possible in retirement.  In the article, selling the home was a key to realizing the desired lifestyle in retirement.
  3. Develop a solid spending strategy.  This step is instrumental in keeping any budget in line.  Adjustments are an ongoing part of any budget and lend to the health of the overall plan. 

Technological advances connect the world in amazing ways and the reality is that times are changing. Many baby boomers and younger cohorts are writing their own retirement story, even if it means creating a new set of rules about how to spend retirement.

In the spirit of a new adventure, I started to make a mental list of the pros and cons to this hybrid approach and wondered how an idea like this might float with my husband! 

Any information is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation.  Any opinions are those of Center for Financial Planning, Inc., and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James.