Education Update: Why You Still Need Goal-Based Planning in Retirement

March 14, 2018

Before you retired, you may have spent time developing strategies to help you reach your retirement goals. You might have invested for the income you would need, minimized your debt, or protected yourself with long-term-care insurance. By focusing on your financial goals and envisioning the lifestyle you wanted for that next stage in life, you were able to build a path toward retirement.

Now that you are retired, you are no longer setting long-range goals because you’ve likely reached your destination, right? Not quite.

Each stage in life requires new goals and strategies, and retirement is no different. Here are some reasons why goal-based planning can still help you build the life you enjoy, even in retirement.

Your New Reality May Not Be What You Expected

The Employee Benefit Research Institute found that fewer than half of retirees say that their retirement is very enjoyable, no matter their economic status or gender.[i]

As you prepared for this phase of life, you may have envisioned your dreams of a leisurely lifestyle coming true. But as reality set in, you found the life you once imagined is not what you are experiencing. If this is true for you, you can still make the most of your retirement by acknowledging how you’re feeling, and identifying the necessary steps to revamp your perspective and experiences.

Ask Yourself these Questions:

  • What exactly do I feel unhappy about? And what am I able to change?
  • What have I been unable to achieve so far? And what are the roadblocks?
  • What lifestyle changes can I make? What can I change now to make my life different?

You May Need New Lifestyle Goals

The average retiree in America will spend 18 years in retirement.[ii] Before you retired, you had to focus on the goals that would help you retire comfortably; now you may need to look at how you want to spend your time.

If you have reached retirement and found yourself feeling disappointed or disillusioned, you can make changes.[iii] You can start revamping your lifestyle by identifying ways to enhance your enjoyment and deepen your engagement in the long term.

Ask Yourself these Questions:

  • Are there any new hobbies I would like to pursue?
  • What volunteer opportunities could increase my community involvement?
  • Should I get a part-time job, and what new skills can I develop to support my search?

Ultimately, every stage in life brings new experiences and fresh priorities. Just because you spent years working to ensure you could afford retirement doesn’t necessarily mean that the planning and preparation stops once you retire. Of course, your unique financial situation and life values will drive how goal-based planning can help you in retirement.

If you’d like to explore how to strengthen your goals and better ensure you live your best retirement life, feel free to contact us.