People spend decades saving, tracking their account and hoping they have enough money for their retirement. However, there’s often a missing piece -sometimes more than one!

How is your retirement planning going? No, we aren’t asking about your retirement accounts, although those are important. For many, the missing piece is: what they want to do during retirement.

You can’t possibly know how much money you’ll need for retirement, if you don’t know what you’ll be doing, right? There’s a big difference in the money needed for world travel if that’s your wish versus being content to visit grandchildren and stay active in your community.

Next, when you wake up on your first morning of official retirement, you’ll have no responsibilities or plans. How great! But, be honest: how much can you really tend to your household or catch up on reading? Retirement can be up to 30 years or more, That’s a lot of time left to live! Retirees frequently are bored, lonely, or depressed because they don’t have the routine, social interaction or purpose that they had at work.

Before you begin your retirement calculations, ask yourself these questions:

  • Where will I live?
  • Do I want to downsize?
  • What are my dreams and goals in retirement?
  • Do I want to have the flexibility to move near my children?
  • Do I want to help my children with their finances?
  • Have I adequately considered the rising cost of healthcare?
  • Do I have a family to help me?
  • Will I need to consider living in a retirement home?
  • Are there healthcare issues for you or loved ones that will impact your home life in later years?
  • Do I want to work a part-time job to keep busy?
  • Do I want to leave my estate to my children or charity?

Yes, you need to save for retirement, and you need to make sure you have an estate plan in place. However, don’t neglect the important task of figuring out how you want to spend your time when you are retired. That will have an impact on how much money you need, where you will live, and what the last decades of your life will look like.

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