What Is Lifestyle Planning? Lifestyle Planning is about getting your balance in life right in retirement.
It is about knowing what your values are and what you want to achieve in your retirement years. If you saw the movie “The Bucket List” you will know what I mean. If you didn’t see it I recommend that you do. Life is more than money and status.
For many people, it isn’t until they are approaching retirement that they have the time to think about what they have achieved in life and what they value for the remaining years that will give them satisfaction.
How Does Lifestyle Planning Differ From Normal Financial Planning?
Lifestyle Planning is planning how you want to live and what you value when you retire. For instance, maybe you never completed your college degree and would like to when you retire. Perhaps you would like to learn a new musical instrument or travel.
Financial Planning, on the other hand, is planning financially for the future lifestyle you want in retirement. For many people, the Global Financial Crisis has brought this into sharp focus. Can you afford the lifestyle you want? Will a compromise be required that requires you to work longer before retirement or earn some income in retirement?
The answers to the questions that you ask yourself and your Lifestyle Planner and Financial Planner are going to determine your enjoyment over your retirement years.
The Top 10 Lifestyle Planning Questions for Baby Boomers
1. Where do you want to retire to? This is important because if you live in a cold climate currently but you suffer from arthritis, you might want to choose to live in a place with a mild year-round temperature in order to help your arthritis.
2. What type of home do you want to live in? In other words, do you want to live in an apartment, or a townhouse, or stay in your family home? Will you need any modifications to your homes such as ramps or walk-in bathtubs? Perhaps downsizing your home will be a good idea and free up some capital for investment to help fund your retirement.
3. How do you plan to spend your time? Obviously, if you have a spouse or life partner, these kinds of decisions will be made together. Nevertheless, you need to decide how you want to spend your retirement.
4. Do you want to travel? If so, do you want to travel by plane, car, or motor home? There are lots of discounts for retirement travel.
5. Do you want to learn any new skills? If so, make a list of those that you always wanted to learn, but never had the chance.
6. What do you plan to do now and in retirement in order to stay healthy and alert? This may include diet, regular moderate exercise, and taking herbs, and vitamins.
7. Are there skills you always wanted to learn but could not during your working years? For example, if you always wanted to learn to play the piano, why not plan to take this up during your retirement years.
8. Do you have a hobby? Maybe you always wanted to own your own business, many people turn hobbies into small businesses that help supplement their retirement income.
9. Do you want to work during your retirement years? Many people simply want to enjoy life with no work at all when they retire, but for others, the thought of not working at all can cause anxiety. If you want to work, what do you want to do?
10. Would you like to begin a new career when you retire? Many years ago when the life expectancy was 70 years, no one planned to do much when they retired except sit around waiting to die. However, today, people are living 90 + years and are still mentally sharp and healthy. Therefore, beginning a new career at age 65 is certainly not unheard of, and in fact, it is becoming the norm for many baby boomers.
Why Lifestyle Planning will grow in importance
Lifestyle Planning will continue to grow and be a vital aspect of baby boomers simply because medical advances have allowed people to expect a longer lifespan. Therefore, planning what you want to do when you retire, without regard to money is very exciting and it helps keep you focused on a bright and exciting future.
In addition, Lifestyle Planning pushes you to place Financial Planning to the fore in your thinking about your future because, in order to do all of the things you want to do as you age, it requires money. Therefore, people are more motivated with their finances when they realize the many aspects of their lives are still to come after retirement. Balancing work and leisure, with part-time work to generate some income, will not only be important for many people, but it will also be essential.
Why clients should investigate self-employment
Self-employment is a great way to earn extra income during retirement, but also it is a way to fulfill life-long dreams, which again is an essential part of Lifestyle Planning. Self-employment is controllable which makes it attractive as a Lifestyle Planning strategy. Some people may have planned their finances well and may not need the extra money from self-employment, but it still helps keep the mind sharp and gives you a daily purpose.
However, the Global Financial Crisis has severely eroded the savings of many baby boomers, and self-employment is a way of generating the supplementary income that will help them achieve Lifestyle Planning dreams and get their values right.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jack Taggerty is a Freelance Writer who worked as an Accountant and Certified Financial Planner before retirement. He knows that Lifestyle Planning will require many baby boomers to find some enjoyable self-employment in retirement if they are to pay their bills.