Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A Retirement ‘Bucket List’ Could Improve Finances

Building a bucket list in retirement could be a great way to outline some goals and life achievements that you may have wanted to accomplish for decades.  And while laying out such goals can be a great way to get your retirement dreams in line and organized, it may also work to improve your finances. 

While these goals don’t necessarily have to revolve around a list of craziness that includes things like skydiving or driving a race car (unless that’s what you want), creating such a list can be integral to organizing the financial components of your retirement.

Outlining goals can help with creating a budget
Some people look at retirement from afar as a time in which to relax, carefree and unimpaired by the worries of the working world.  Some such people will continue throughout their retirement unfazed by a lack of responsibility or purpose.  Other people however, may, after a time, become somewhat disillusioned with a life in which there are few goals or objectives.

For those types of people, having an idea of what they’d like to do before they actually reach retirement could allow them to forecast and create a budget that helps them meet such goals in a way that doesn’t have them stretching their finances.  Knowing that a certain retirement living location will come with a higher cost of living, that playing golf on a regular basis can become quite costly, that traveling overseas could add thousands of dollars a year or more onto a retirement budget, or that buying that boat to finally cruise around the lake or take to the ocean will run $20,000 or $30,000 and put a heavy dent in retirement savings could lead to a push in increase pre-retirement savings or to cut costs in other areas.

Goals may lead to location finalization
If a retiree wants to hike in the mountains, swim daily in the ocean, enjoy the desert landscape, or live near distant family members as a part of their retirement bucket list, relocating might be on the retirement menu.  Outlining these goals ahead of time could provide better clarity when it comes to retirement location finalization. 

With a location – or at least geographic area – pinpointed with the help of such bucket-list goals, a pre-retiree may then begin to investigate pertinent financial information related to the cost of living in such a location.  Things like property tax rates, local and state income and sales tax rates, insurance rates (both home and auto), utility costs, food costs, gas prices, and more might all be considerations.  This way, costs won’t come as such a shock or have a retiree rethinking their relocation ideas.

Trying a new career
Some retirees don’t want to quit working in retirement; they just want to quit working in a particular job or industry and have a desire to explore new employment realms and possibilities.  However, trying a new endeavor in retirement could prove risky and rely upon funds that might otherwise be set aside for covering retirement expenses.

Figure out what potential work or career options might be on the retirement career bucket list could allow pre-retirees to start researching such industries or roles ahead of time.  This can help in developing a business plan, setting money aside solely for this purpose, and maybe even try out some new ventures before retirement officially begins in an effort to see just how feasible such goals are in an effort to reduce risk and be better prepared financially.


The author is not a licensed financial professional.  This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice of any kind.  Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.

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