One of the things we (meaning anyone who likes to get away or travel) are pretty good at is planning for our vacation. This short time away a few times each year provides a needed respite from the daily grind of work and other responsibilities. We look forward to this time with anticipation. We think about where we want to go and for how long. We plan activities for each day we are gone, and if you are travelling with kids having varied interests, you plan things that each person will enjoy.

For some of us, we begin planning our next vacation as soon as we return home from our current vacation. We look forward to this time with so much anticipation, and we want it to check all of the boxes, whatever these may be for each of us, that we spend many hours planning the perfect getaway.

Here is a sobering but true statement: The vast majority of people spend more time planning their vacation than they do planning for the non-financial aspects of retirement. How about you?

Planning for a vacation is a lot like planning for retirement. We need to decide where we are going, how we are going to get there, and what we will do when we arrive.

One reason we spend a lot of time planning for a vacation is we look forward to this time. We should look forward to our time in retirement. Another reason we get excited about a vacation is that we usually know where we are going and how we are going to get there.
Sure, there may be a few times where we might “wing it” at the last minute, but that is only because we made a last-minute decision or changed our mind for some reason. A third reason we get excited about vacation is because we know what the destination looks like.

We have seen pictures and/or video of where we are staying and the activities we will be doing. In other words, we can visualize what the destination looks like and see ourselves at this destination. This visualization creates excitement and anticipation about the trip.

Applying this vacation planning strategy to planning for the non-financial aspects of retirement hopefully will help you begin to or revisit planning for your retirement. Here are some tips for you to begin planning for the non-financial aspects of your retirement.

1) Have a positive outlook for what this time will be. This takes having the right attitude about this transition.

2) Know where you are going and how you will get there. It requires figuring out the variables in the retirement success equation: Time + Direction = Retirement Success. This takes forethought and planning.

3) Visualize what this time will look like. Once you decide where you are going and how you are going to get there, you can begin to see the picture or vision of your retirement. This takes being open to new ideas, exploration and possibly change.

4) Develop clarity and confidence. Being able to visualize what your retirement will look like gives you the clarity and confidence to make this transition. This takes courage and follow-through to make your dreams for this time come true.

While this vacation analogy hopefully gives you a different perspective on planning for your retirement, there are many other questions and answers to consider to make a successful transition into retirement.

If you would like help sorting out all of your options, helping you design a plan for this journey, and holding you accountable for carrying out your plan, please contact me at or at 952-994-8937.