How to Blend Your Money and Lifestyle for your Retirement

Congratulations, if you are reading this posting, you must be close to retirement! OR at least thinking about it. 

I’ve noticed that happy retirees spend time planning out their retirement, so let’s start planning your retirement!

Most women coming up to retirement will focus on one of two things, either their retirement money or their retirement lifestyle. They will plan out their money or lifestyle, but if they only do one and not both, they are leaving out 50% of the equation.

It’s a simple equation, but let’s break it down…Lifestyle + Money=Retirement

Next blog posting we will work on the health side so you can hopefully enjoy both your lifestyle and money for many more years! But today, we are focusing on why it is so important to plan out both aspects of your retirement. I’ve run 4 retirement round-tables this year for women, I’ve read about 9 books about retirement, so I guess you can say I’ve become obsessed with it. I’m not researching my retirement, I am doing it all for YOUR retirement. I do this because I care, I care so much that I’m willing to sacrifice my weekend at the beach to reading about this magical retirement era. You’ve worked about 30 plus years to fund 70 or so years of your life. This means every dollar needs to have it’s purpose, to maximize every opportunity out there, and make your money as efficient as possible. How do we get this accomplished? It helps to plan, plan, play a little, and then plan again! 

To begin, it’s important to focus on your lifestyle and money. Because what I’ve found is that when someone has their retirement lifestyle all set, their concerns revolve around the money. And the opposite it true if you are so focused on the money and forget about how you will live your retirement days.When someone takes care of only the money, they seem to drag their feet about setting up a retirement date. The problem is they don’t have anything to retire too. BUT the problem goes much farther than that. If you haven’t planned out how you will live every day, then you really don’t know how much money you’ll need, do you?

An example is being bored. When we are bored we usually will spend money or eat! But eating still requires money! You’ll go shopping, go on a trip, go to the movies, etc. instead of filling your week with excursions, exercise, club meetings, and different activities to keep you busy. So planning out your lifestyle will not only give you something to retire to, but it will give you clarity over how much money you’ll need every month to live on. You won’t find yourself in the mall shopping all day to stay busy, you will find ways to fill your day with purpose without bursting your budget.

And if you only plan the lifestyle aspect, you will probably still be nervous about overspending your nest egg. Tying both of them together is key to success in retirement. I don’t know how you would define a successful retirement, but a retirement where you have a ton of fun and have a ton of money to do it sounds pretty good to me!

It doesn’t matter which one you start with, but make sure you combine them both. Build your ideal life and build your ideal budget. Then how much money will you need to have in order to have both. If you are stuck on retiring at a certain age, then think about pieces of your lifestyle you can live without and still feel fulfilled. There is always a tradeoff, you can retire earlier and live on less OR retire later and live on more money. Think about which direction you’d like to go in. Once you get clear on when you’d like to retire, start building your ideal day and ideal budget. What can you spend and still feel fulfilled at the end of the day, which means how can you live without feeling deprived of anything? 

It isn’t easy, but here are some questions to think about to get it started. I use these questions to gauge where people are when they start my Strong Retirement Club.

a.    Lifestyle: How confident are you that you will have a fulfilling life in retirement? And not be bored at home?

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b.    Lifestyle: How confident are you that you will be able to pursue your goals and dreams in retirement without busting your budget?

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c.     Money: How confident are you that you will never outlive your money and be a burden on your loved ones?                   

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d.    Money: How confident are you that your money is being tax efficient as possible and you aren’t paying any excess taxes?

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Next week, we will talk about how health is a major role in your retirement with some tricks and insights I’ve learned from health professionals!