How to Plan your Dream Retirement

Retirement is a major life transition that many people look forward to. It’s a time when you can finally leave the workforce and start enjoying the fruits of your labor. However, as financial advisor Matt Stevenson points out, many individuals tend to overlook a crucial aspect of retirement planning—the vision. Let’s explore the importance of building a vision for your retirement and provide you with practical steps on how to plan your dream retirement.

The Power of a Retirement Vision

Before diving into the financial aspects of retirement, it’s essential to have a clear vision of what you want your retirement to look like. Too often, individuals focus solely on the numbers, such as when to claim Social Security benefits and how much to withdraw from their retirement accounts. While these financial considerations are undoubtedly important, they should not be the starting point of your retirement planning.

Your retirement vision should encompass the following elements:

  1. Daily Activities: What do you want to spend your days doing in retirement? Is it pursuing a hobby, traveling, volunteering, or enjoying quality time with your loved ones?
  2. Companionship: Who do you want to spend your retirement with? Do you plan to spend more time with your family, friends, or perhaps meet new people who share your interests?
  3. Passions and Hobbies: What are your hobbies and passions that you want to explore in retirement? Whether it’s painting, golfing, gardening, or something entirely different, your retirement is the time to indulge in these interests.
  4. Staying Engaged: How will you keep yourself mentally and physically sharp during retirement? Staying engaged in activities that stimulate your mind and body is essential for a fulfilling retirement.

Your retirement vision provides the foundation upon which you can build your financial plan. It’s about more than just money; it’s about crafting a life that you’ve always dreamed of.

The Consequences of Overlooking the Vision

To illustrate the importance of having a retirement vision, let’s consider the story of a client who worked for a prominent oil and gas company. He and his wife had worked for the same company for many years, saving diligently for retirement. The numbers on their spreadsheets looked promising, and they were on track for a comfortable retirement in their mid-50s.

However, what they had failed to do was map out the critical elements of their retirement vision. Their retirement party and gold watch were celebrated with enthusiasm. But, as the client soon discovered, he was at a loss when he found himself sitting in his work parking garage on a Monday morning, realizing that he no longer worked there.

The absence of a clear retirement vision left this individual feeling adrift, lacking direction and purpose. Without a plan for how to spend his days and what to do with his newfound freedom, his retirement became less satisfying than he had anticipated.

Creating a Retirement Vision

Now that you understand the significance of a retirement vision, let’s delve into how to create one that aligns with your aspirations.

Reflect on Your Goals and Desires

Start by reflecting on your goals and desires. What have you always wanted to do when you no longer have the constraints of a job? Do you dream of traveling the world, pursuing a new career, or spending more time with your family? Make a list of your dreams and aspirations.

Consider Your Values

Your retirement vision should be a reflection of your values. What matters most to you in life? Is it your relationships, personal growth, contributing to your community, or simply enjoying the simple pleasures of life? Identify your core values, as they will guide your retirement choices.

Create a Vision Board

Visualizing your retirement can be a powerful tool. Create a vision board with images, words, and symbols that represent your retirement goals. This board will serve as a daily reminder of what you are working toward.

Seek Input from Loved Ones

Your retirement vision can impact not only you but also your loved ones. Involve your family in the discussion, as their input can help shape your vision and ensure it aligns with their aspirations as well.

Define a Timeline

Setting a timeline for your retirement vision can help you stay motivated and on track. Determine when you want to retire and start working toward making your vision a reality.

Aligning Your Financial Plan with Your Vision

Once you have a clear retirement vision, the next step is to align your financial plan with it. Your vision provides the framework for the financial decisions you will make. For example, if you dream of living in the mountains, as one couple did, you can allocate resources and plan your finances accordingly to support that dream.

Final Thoughts

In summary, your retirement plan should start with a clear and well-defined vision of what you want your retirement to look like. Without a vision, the numbers and financial aspects become meaningless. Your retirement should be a time of fulfillment, purpose, and joy. So, take the time to build your retirement vision, and let it guide your financial planning. With a clear vision in place, you can act with precision to make your retirement dreams a reality. Don’t overlook these critical steps, as they are the key to planning your dream retirement.

Also read: What Is The True Impact Of Inflation On Retirement?


Our Channel “ ON THE MONEY“, is powered by Allied Wealth, Houston’s premier wealth management and financial planning firm. On the Money brings viewers educational, topic-driven, and real-life financial scenarios every week.

Topics we will be covering are Retirement and Financial Planning, Investment Selection, Retirement Income Planning, Taxes and Taxation during Retirement, Healthcare, Long Term Care, Legacy and Estate Planning, in addition to important Market and Economic changes impacting Retirement.

Allied Wealth is fully dedicated to your financial future, financial security and retirement.

With Allied Wealth, you will spend less time worrying and more time enjoying the life you’ve earned!