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The Art of Retirement: Planning Your Time as Precisely as Your Finances

Disclaimer: This blog provides general information and should not replace professional advice. Consult a financial planner and healthcare professional for personalized guidance.

Retirement—a word that brings up images of leisurely days, travel, and the freedom to pursue passions. But beyond those pleasant thoughts there is a critical piece of retirement that often gets overlooked: time management. Just as you meticulously plan your finances for retirement, it’s equally important to plan how you’ll spend your days.   I have coached several clients who were excited about retiring, had their financial planning done, yet retired and felt empty because they did not plan how they would spend their time.  All of them shared a version of, “I’m not sure what to do now.”

When you retire, there is a loss many are not prepared for.  You lose you title and position.  You lose the work family you probably spent more time with than your own. You lose part of the regular socialization you were used to.  Some interpret the feelings after retirement as depression.  I suggest, it is probably grief.  Grief is the NORMAL and NATURAL reaction to the loss of ANY kind.  Make sense???

Let’s explore why time planning matters, discover potential pitfalls, and I’ll leave you with some reflective questions to ponder.

1. The Financial and Temporal Balance

Financial Goals: The Familiar Road

When it comes to retirement, financial planning takes center stage for the majority. Most of us consult a financial planner, set savings targets, invest wisely, and envision a comfortable lifestyle. But consider this: time is a finite resource. Just as you allocate funds for various expenses, allocate time for meaningful activities. As we consider retirement and finances, the following questions usually come up:

  • What are my financial goals for retirement?

  • How much do I need to maintain my desired lifestyle?

  • Have I factored in healthcare costs, emergencies, and inflation?

Time Goals: The Hidden Treasure

Now, let’s shift our focus to time. Imagine your days as a portfolio. What investments will you make? Here’s why time planning matters:

  1. Purposeful Living: Without structure, retirement can feel aimless. Allocate time to hobbies, volunteering, learning, and relationships. Consider part-time work, intentional sporadic work, or passion projects.

  2. Health and Wellness: Regular exercise, balanced meals, and mental well-being require time. Neglecting these can lead to physical and emotional pitfalls. So often, retirement invites less focus on exercise and eating well.  Many are sitting around more, some fall victim to excessive TIC activity (television, internet, and cell phone).

  3. Social Connections: Isolation creeps in when days lack social interactions. When you don’t plane activities, it becomes easier NOT to and just stay in the house. I had a client who retired and did not leave her house for 3 months.  She had everything delivered.  Her growthwork (a.k.a. homework) was to go outside for 15 minutes, 3 days a week. Our bodies need the vitamin D from the sun and good ole fresh air!!! Proactively plan coffee dates, book clubs, volunteer, breakfast/lunch/dinner with a family member or friend, or community events.

  4. Exploration: Retirement isn’t a full stop; it’s a comma with something still going on. Allocate time for travel, exploration, pursue a new hobby, and new experiences.

2. The Pitfalls of Poor Time Planning

Mental and Emotional Drift

  • The Void: Unplanned days stretch endlessly. Boredom, anxiety, and purposelessness seep in.

  • Identity Crisis: Work often defines us. Without it, who are we? Time planning helps redefine purpose.

  • Regret: “I wish I’d spent more time with loved ones.” Don’t let this be your refrain.

Physical Health Neglect

  • Sedentary Lifestyle: Couch surfing can become a habit. Physical health often deteriorates.

  • Missed Opportunities: Time squandered on mindless activities can rob you of enriching experiences.

Medical Oversights

  • Routine Checkups: Neglecting health appointments leads to preventable issues.

  • Emergency Preparedness: Time planning includes creating medical directives and organizing important documents.

Emotional Well-Being

  • Loneliness: Lack of social connections impacts mental health.

  • Purpose Deficit: Without goals, life loses meaning.

3. Reflective Questions

  1. What Do I Value?: List your core values. How will you allocate time to honor them?

  2. Bucket List: What experiences do you want to check off? Create a “time bucket list.”

  3. Social Circle: Who will be part of your retirement narrative? Cultivate those relationships.

  4. Health Commitments: How will you invest in your physical and mental well-being?

  5. What Are You Passionate About? Volunteer, offer to share your expertise at schools/organizations, etc…

Remember, retirement isn’t just about financial stability; it’s about time wealth. Plan it wisely, and your golden years will truly shine. 🌟

Need support?? Let's work together, contact us for your personalized program designed to meet your desired outcomes.

Jan Davidson

Growing Through My Journey

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