Defining what you want your retirement to be

Today’s retirement is all about choice and opportunities. After working so hard for so many years, you could make retirement your time to realize your dreams. Perhaps you’re interested in exploring interests or hobbies, catching up on some long-overdue travel plans or spending more time with family and friends.

At the same time, you may be facing commitments and responsibilities that could restrict your plans. You may be paying off your mortgage, or seeing your children through college or university. It also isn’t unusual for today’s retirees to find themselves caring for aging parents and/or having adult children living at home.

With the help of your advisor, you can develop a plan that balances your hopes and dreams with your commitments and concerns. Your advisor can draw upon his or her expertise to help you evaluate your options and address the key issues, both financial and emotional, that will influence your retirement plans.

Ease the transition from work.
Try to plan for a retirement that will provide the elements of working life that you valued. This could mean developing a social network outside of work, participating in activities that allow you to make a contribution or share your knowledge and/or selecting challenging opportunities to continue your self-development.

Try retirement on for size.
Consider trying out new experiences before you actually retire. For example, if you’re planning a move, rent for a season to make sure you’ll be happy in your chosen destination. Or get involved in volunteer organizations on a part-time basis to determine if they can provide the rewards that you’re looking for.

Talk to your partner.
If you expect to share your retirement with someone else, you’ll need a plan that meets both your needs. Be sure to discuss each other’s plans well before you retire so you can come to an agreement.

TOOLS:

What will your retirement look like? PDF document

Here's a tool to help you visualize your life after work. By answering the following questions, you can begin to create a realistic picture of what you want your retirement to be.

Getting good advice

TIP: As you’re browsing the Internet, newspapers and magazines, you’ll encounter information about retirement planning and investments that may pique your interest. Prepare a clippings file of these articles and other issues so that you can discuss them in greater depth with your advisor.

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