Your Retirement Lifestyle: Mapping out the Next Phase

mapping out retirement

Is your retirement lifestyle what you hoped it would be?

Maybe you went into retirement with big plans for how you’d spend your time. Or maybe, like many Americans, your focus was on saving for retirement. Day-to-day life as a retiree was something you simply figured out as you lived it. 

Chances are you encountered some hiccups along the way. Things may not have worked out quite like you anticipated. Or maybe they did, but you discovered that getting the lifestyle you wanted wasn’t as satisfying as you’d thought it would be.

Either way, now is a good time to review how early retirement played out for you and map out where you go from here.

How would you describe your early retirement lifestyle?

Maybe you lived large in early retirement, traveling the world, exploring nature, going to the theatre, eating at fine restaurants. 

Maybe you were content to spend most of your time at home, enjoying a simple life, puttering around the garden, fixing your own meals, spending time with family and friends.

Maybe you continued working, if not at the job you “retired from” then running your own small business where you set your own hours and picked your own clients.

Or maybe you devoted yourself to giving back to your community, volunteering your time and supporting causes that were important to you.

Looking back on it, how satisfying was your early retirement? What did it teach you about yourself? Were there interests you wished you pursued that you didn’t?

Setting goals for the next phase of your retirement

Is there something more you want out of retirement going forward? Other interests you want to pursue?

Some people try their hand at something creative like writing or painting. Some may even take up musical instruments or voice, not because they want to become virtuosos, but because they enjoy the challenge. It keeps their mind active.

Others may feel they have something to share. They may get pleasure from teaching others, whether that’s through informal one-on-one sessions or a full-blown course.

The point is, your next phase of retirement doesn’t have to be about winding down. 

Of course, some things may get more challenging as you get older. You may find you don’t have the same energy you once did. Or the patience. And that’s okay.

The trick is to prioritize where you want to spend your time and energy.

Where do you want to spend your time and energy?

It may be that keeping up your current home is more of a hassle than it used to be. If that’s the case, do you simply continue spending your increasingly precious time and energy on household chores or consider moving some place where they’re taken care of?

You may also notice that your social circle has been shrinking in recent years. Living where you do, there just aren’t a lot of opportunities to make new friends. Should you consider moving somewhere these sorts of opportunities aren’t so hard to come by? 

Or maybe you want to take a special class offered on the other side of town, but the slog of getting there and back takes all the fun out of it. Wouldn’t it be great if you lived some place where the class – and other activities you may be interested in – were offered? 

Sometimes the best way to get the lifestyle you want is to change your home base, to go where the action is. And one option is to move to a senior living community.

Senior living communities are sometimes described as cruise ships on land. They give you the chance to pursue interesting activities and meet new people while eliminating many of the hassles that come with keeping up a house of your own. 

Whether or not you think a senior living community is a good fit for you, one of the keys to enjoying the next phase of your retirement is getting clear on the lifestyle you want and where you can best live it. 

To help you better understand senior living options and financing all types of senior care, we created a comprehensive guide. We invite you to download A Family Guide to Funding Senior Care & Housing with our compliments!