Step 1 of the Layman’s Plan for Retirement Planning – Retirement Vision


This article covers the first, and arguably most fun, step of my 10-step plan for planning your retirement. Here we begin to describe our dream retreat. Let’s look at six aspects of retirement life to help us paint this picture.

Location – Where do you want to live?

The first possibility is that you are happy where you are; why move? If so, move on to the next aspect. If not, read on.

CNBC News says these are the best places in the US for baby boomers:

  • Loveland/Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Las Cruces, New Mexico
  • Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
  • Portland, OR
  • Greenville, South Carolina
  • Sarasota, Florida
  • Ann Arbor, MI
  • Tucson, Arizona
  • Montpelier, Vermont
  • Honolulu Hawaii
  • Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Charleston, South Carolina
  • Northampton, MA
  • San Diego, California

If you are looking for an international location, the Association for the Advancement of Retired Persons recommends:

  • Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
  • Languedoc-Roussillon, France
  • Boquete, Panama
  • Cascais, Portugal
  • Marche, Italy

Home – Which accommodation do you prefer?

If you plan to stay in your home during your retirement, this is still a great option. If you’d rather move, let’s look at some options.

A single-family residence offers more space and privacy. However, there is more maintenance and cost. The care needed to keep a large house well maintained can become more difficult in later years. If possible, consider one-story dwellings as well as properties that are easily accessible to wheelchairs; you may not need it now, but you will in the years to come.

Condos and townhouses are a great alternative. Less expense, less care, and you can still have great community facilities like pools and hot spas. Beware of association fees as they can be substantial and are generally not tax deductible.

Yet another alternative is an apartment house. The popularity of apartments varies by region, but they can be a great alternative if you want to live in a desirable area and don’t need a garden patio.

What about retirement communities? They are a fantastic option if you want to be surrounded by other retirees, have targeted retiree amenities nearby (medical, entertainment, etc.), access to help with daily chores (groceries, cleaning, etc.) and have fun playing golf, card games and other organized activities. These communities can offer home, condominium, and apartment living options.

Activities – What fun activities would you like to do in retirement?

If you play sports, such as biking, golf, tennis, or enjoy going to the gym, and plan to continue that activity in retirement, you’ll likely be healthier and happier in retirement. Many of these activities may cost you a bit, but the health benefits far outweigh the costs.

What about leisure? Here are some hobbies you might want to learn (try two or more!):

  • Dancing – also good for your health
  • Painting – can be very relaxing; it doesn’t matter if you’re not a Picasso
  • Gardening – maybe grow your own food?
  • Modeling – cars, boats, planes
  • Internet blog – share your thoughts and experiences with the world
  • Photography – with new digital cameras it’s much easier and more fun
  • Volunteering – how about helping an animal shelter or charity fundraisers?

Another activity that can fit into your plans is joining the many clubs that meet common interests. Here are a few :

  • The Rotary club
  • Card game groups
  • Book clubs
  • Sports team fans
  • Form yours

Finally, nothing like lying down in a comfortable chair with a good book. It seems like every time I go on vacation, one of my favorite things to do is sit by the pool or under a palm tree and be whisked away by a big page-turner. For many of you book lovers, it’s an activity you do just about anywhere and doesn’t cost a fortune!

Travel – Do you want to see the world?

What does traveling mean to you? Here are some starter ideas to help you decide what type of trip you would like to take:

  • Cruise ships to exciting ports – many exotic places to see
  • RV Around America – It’s Like Taking Your Home With You
  • Railway – Take the train. You can sleep, eat and enjoy the sights on the way to your destinations
  • Open Top – Get a convertible and visit bed and breakfasts
  • National Parks – Consider Yosemite, Yellowstone, or any of the other 386 parks in the United States

Family and friends – Who are the people you would like to be with?

Retirement happiness isn’t just based on location, activities, and the trips you take. It’s also about the people you have around you. So think about who these people are. Here are some of the most common:

  • Joint
  • Small children
  • Children
  • Parents
  • Brothers and sisters
  • other family
  • Friends

Work – What? You thought retirement meant not working? Think again.

Many people look forward to retirement in order to start that new business they’ve always dreamed of, but knew they couldn’t support financially. Here are some examples:

  • Photographer – time to take that hobby and make it a business
  • Travel advisor – check with your tax advisor, but you may be able to take a free vacation
  • Little shop – Flowers, model trains, antiques, etc. Again, turn your hobby into a business
  • Web Store – There are tons of web opportunities, including being an online consultant, designing websites for others, and doing internet research.

Having a business during retirement is a great way to add extra income and keep your mind sharp!

Well that’s it; I hope this information has helped you create your ideal retreat. Be sure to write this information down as it will be used in later steps of The Layman’s 10-Step Plan for Retirement Planning.

Source by Steve Mejia

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