Brad Tinnon

Brad Tinnon

Why Retirement Planning Isn’t Just About the Money

It’s one thing to crunch the numbers and figure out whether or not you can retire, but it’s quite a different thing to look at the non-financial aspects of your retirement. 

In today’s blog post you will learn 5 very important, non-financial questions that you need to ask yourself prior to retiring. These include questions such as – Where will you live? How will you spend your time? How will you find fulfillment? What sort of legacy will you leave?

Read on to learn why focusing on these non-financial aspects can lead to a more satisfying retirement!

NON-FINANCIAL ASPECTS OF RETIREMENT PLANNING

While it is very important to figure out financially if you can retire, it is equally important to understand the non-financial aspects so that you can enjoy a successful retirement.

With that in mind, following are 5 questions for you to consider:

QUESTION #1: WHERE WILL YOU LIVE?

Often times a person headed into retirement will plan to downsize their home. This is usually a simple decision for a retiree to make because they don’t want to clean and maintain a larger home. But deciding to live in a different community or even in another state requires a bit more thought and planning.

If you’ve never lived anywhere else for an extended period of time, how do you know whether or not you will like it? Sometimes we have grandiose ideas built up in our mind only to find out later it wasn’t what you thought it would be.

To protect against that happening, I recommend that you test drive where you want to live. Instead of purchasing a home in a location that you think you will like, take an extended vacation to the area. Get a feel for the traffic, the noise, your neighbors… Doing this will also give you some perspective on how you deal with moving away from family and friends. As you’ll see in Question #3 below, family and friends play a very vital role to a satisfying retirement.

QUESTION #2: WHAT WILL YOU DO?

I once heard a story of a guy who thought he would retire and spend all his time playing golf. If I remember correctly, the guy wanted to become a professional golfer on the Senior PGA Tour. He felt this would be possible as he would be able devote all of his free time to this endeavor.

What he discovered over time is that he grew to hate golf. Retirement was supposed to be a relaxing time, but his time was filled with training and practice continually. It was anything but a relaxing retirement.

There’s another story / study I’ve heard about regarding CEOs of large companies. CEOs are notorious for working many hours per week during their careers. Then when they retire, they often times haven’t decided what to do with all the time on their hands. As a result, their life expectancy was shortened.

For those planning to retire, it’s important to have an idea of what you will be doing. Don’t just step into retirement without having anything planned. Fill your day with things you enjoy doing or things you want to learn (i.e. golf, reading, gardening, travel, house projects, hobbies, etc…). But also make sure that you aren’t just spending all of your time in one area like the aspiring golfer.

In addition to filling your time with things you enjoy doing, spend some time thinking about how you will use your time and possibly money to help others. After all, it truly is better to give than receive. If you can plan your retirement along these lines, I believe that you will really enjoy this chapter of your life. 

QUESTION #3: HOW WILL YOU FIND FULFILLMENT? 

This question is likely the most important one of them all. After all, what good is retirement if you aren’t enjoying yourself. 

I was talking with our newly hired intern, Patrick, about this week’s blog post and he shared a really interesting study that I wanted to pass on to you.

Patrick currently attends Vanderbilt University and he learned about the Blue-Zone study in his Introduction to Human Development course.

Following are Patrick’s comments on the study:

“The study essentially reflects that social interactions are extremely important to living a long life.

A woman named Susan Pinker studied a “blue zone”, a zone where a man’s life expectancy is the same as a woman’s. This zone is a village in Sardinia, an Italian island, where there are 10 times as many people that live to be 100 than in North America. Why do they live so long though?
 
It’s because the structure of the village fosters social interaction. The houses are tightly spaced and streets are laid out so “villagers’ lives constantly intersect”. Elderly people are constantly visited by family, friends, grocers, priests, barkeepers, etc…
 

There’s another study that Pinker references from Julianne Holt-Lunstad at BYU. The study found that close relationships are the most important predictor of how long one’s life will last; even more important than exercise, obesity, smoking habits, etc…”

All of this points to having a strong social network when you retire. When you retire will you be around your friends and family? Another question to consider is “What if you retire early?”. If you do, your friends and family may still be working and your social network may not be fully intact.

QUESTION #4: HOW DO YOU WISH TO BE REMEMBERED?

What will people say about you after you’re gone from this earth? Do you prefer to be remembered as someone who was caring, funny, helpful, compassionate, giving, etc? Or will it be the opposite of that?

Do you wish to leave a legacy? For many people this question revolves around giving. In other words, what will you leave behind for future generations to learn and benefit from?

A successful retirement will involve answering questions such as these and will likely provide fulfillment for you.

QUESTION #5: HOW IS YOUR HEALTH?

If you focus all your time on building wealth but don’t also focus on your health, then you may not actually be able to enjoy the wealth you created.

Whether you are close to retirement or many years away, I encourage you to begin making plans today to improve your health. Consider healthier food choices (after all, food is medicine) and begin an exercise program. Start small and build upon that over time. 

CONCLUSION

As you can see, there is much more to retirement planning than money. And arguably these questions posed today are as important if not more important than the financial aspects of retirement. So, as you plan for your retirement, be sure to address these questions to set yourself up for a satisfying retirement.

If you would like to discuss retirement planning with B.E.S.T. Wealth and understand how we can help you pull everything together, feel free to schedule an Introductory Meeting

Hope you enjoyed today’s blog post.

If you’re new to our blog and want to receive financial planning tips and educational information, then sign up to receive our eContent.

Have you ever considered these non-financial aspects of retirement planning? If you are already retired, do you have any words of wisdom to pass on? Please share any thoughts, comments, or questions below.    

Brad E.S. Tinnon
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™

 

RELATED CONTENT / RESOURCES: 

Estimating the Size of Your Retirement Nest Egg

Blue-Zone Study

Julianne Holt-Lunstad Study

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