Before I retired, I admit I pretty much only pictured myself being involved in two activities, one being travel and the other being not working.
I never really had a bucket list, you know, one of those lists of things I wanted to be sure to get through before I died. Even on the travel part, it’s not like I have a list of places I have to see before I die. I figure I won’t get to them all anyway, so I’ll just go to the place that appeals to me at the moment. Maybe because someone’s offered me a home exchange, maybe because I see a great deal on the internet, or maybe because friends ask us to tag along. In any case, I’m ok with leaving much of the world unexplored.
But I think travel and not working commonly top the list of activities many soon-to-be-retirees focus on, that and maybe golf.
A few months ago, I read an article about a financial planner that goes through a bucket list approach for his retirement planning clients. His view is that if he can get his clients to really picture how they want to be spending their time in retirement, he can help them figure out how much money they would need to make that life a reality. It sounds like his clients are a lot like me. It’s hard for an advisor to help clients figure out how much they need for retirement when their primary goal is just to not work.
So he starts by asking clients to picture how they would like to live their lives if they knew they only had 20 years left to live, then five years, then one year. Twenty years seems like enough time to get really good at the piano and travel leisurely as the opportunity arises. So I’ve got that covered. If I knew I only had five years to live, I would definitely want a dog in my life. I keep thinking about it, but since I feel like I have more like 50 years left, I keep putting that one off. But it’s a good thing to keep in the back of my mind. I’m sure I’ll have a dog waking me up in the morning in the not-too-distant future.
If I only had one year left though, I probably wouldn’t spend a whole lot of time traveling. Instead, I’d probably try to spend as much time with friends and family as possible. Maybe I’d be more inclined to travel if it involved traveling with friends or family.
It’s a pretty interesting exercise to think about your bucket list in this fashion, breaking it down to specific time periods. Looks like the only thing I’m missing from my bucket list is a canine companion. But I’m hoping there’s still plenty of time for that. So right now I’m on my way to Hawaii, excited to spend some quality time with fun-loving friends.
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(Photo details: Mauna Lani, Hawaii)