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What To Do After Your Bucket List

You hear a lot about how much money you should save to live the lifestyle you desire when you retire. But equally important, and maybe even more so, is the question of how you are going to live in retirement.

After you have checked off all of the items on your bucket list and taken all of the trips you can afford, how do you spend the rest of your time (which now is all leisure)? This happens to be a question some people overlook as they enter their retirement years, but it is critically important for pre-retirees to consider.

People are living longer these days, so you may be looking at a retirement period of 20 years, or even more. You will have a lot of leisure time. A long retirement period can take you into the advanced elderly years, a time when many retirees are physically unable to work part-time, serve as volunteers, or even keep up with their gardening. And watching TV, playing computer games, and emailing your friends and family can get boring when you do it all day—for a few years.

So, what can you do?

One answer is to move to a retirement community. This definitely could be a consideration when planning your retirement. Retirement communities are designed to alleviate a boring (and life-shortening) lifestyle. Found throughout the United States, they often are located close to medical facilities—another important consideration because you probably will require increased medical attention as you grow older.

Many people entering their retirement years want to remain near family members. So if you're considering a retirement community, you may want to look somewhere that's close to much of your family.

Six other things you may want to consider if you choose to move to a retirement community:

  1. Facilities. What does the community offer in addition to the omnipresent community clubhouse? Many communities feature activities and facilities designed especially for retirees, such as swimming pools, tennis courts, bocce courts, arts and crafts courses, photography clubs, home-state clubs, woodworking shops, computer rooms, card rooms, bingo games, movies, little theater, community dinners, and special events. Some even provide golf courses.
  2. Fees and taxes. Make sure you are financially comfortable with homeowner association fees, insurance rates, and property taxes (if applicable).
  3. Resale value. What is the real estate sales history of the community? Have home and condo valuations generally trended upward during the years of its existence? Have home and condo prices recovered somewhat from the real estate bust of a few years ago?
  4. Shopping. Is the community located near stores and shopping centers?
  5. Restaurants. A lot of retirees like to eat out as frequently as they can afford. Are good restaurants conveniently located? Do many of these restaurants offer "early bird" menus at a discount?
  6. Transportation. Some senior citizens may choose to give up their drivers' licenses as they enter the upper years of old age. Having public transportation available could be an important consideration.

And finally, what about the question of how much money you should save for your retirement? A better question may be: How much will you need to pay your retirement expenses each month? We can help you with that answer. And we can help you plan the retirement lifestyle choices that best suit you.