Creating a happy retirement
As people are working and living longer, today's retirement looks much different from that of 20 years ago. Instead of planning to simply relax for a few good years, many of today's workers expect to live for decades after leaving their careers, and they want those years to be active and fulfilling -- not to mention well-financed.
"When we think about retirement, everyone focuses on whether they can make it work financially, but they don't think about how they're going to spend all their time," says Matt Curfman, CFP professional and senior vice president of Richmond Brothers in Jackson, Mich. "We go from spending almost all of our time working, being helpful and feeling meaningful, to having an open schedule."
Because there are so many options for post-career life, it's difficult to plan financially without a clear plan for what your retirement years will look like. "If you don't develop a personalized vision for this stage of life, you take on the risks of aimlessness, lack of purpose and boredom," says Mitch Anthony, author of "The New Retirementality." "For lives to produce joy and meaning, they need to have some degree of focus and structure. Retirement planning, in spite of the inference of money, is primarily an existential issue; then it is an economic issue."
To create a clear vision for your post-career life, start by planning for these six areas.