Are you at a point in your life where you’re asking, “What’s next?” You’ve finished one chapter and you have yet to write the next one, and this one involves an empty nest, no more commuting to the office, lots more time for yourself, and limitless options. Many of us face these exciting transitions as we approach retirement, as it’s a whole new phase of life. So, how can we plan for the possibilities that lie ahead?
When it comes to retirement, money is certainly important, but don’t forget that there are other important things to consider along the way. For this very reason, AARP recently released its , offering a map to guide you in this new life phase.
What is “Life Reimagined”?
Life Reimagined is an initiative designed to help people get on the path that will bring them the most happiness during your retired years.
The core idea behind this website is that it provides programs to help clarify your goals, desires, and priorities. These programs are split into three categories: Well-Being, Work, and Relationships. By focusing on these three facets, retirement will hopefully be marked by thriving, not just surviving. Best of all, these programs are free. Although they can take anywhere from 1 to 7 days to complete, if you take them seriously, you may find that they offer a lot of intangible value.
How it works:
- Choose a program on relationships, work and well-being.
- You’ll get different tasks—videos to watch, meditations to listen to, quizzes to do, etc.
- Programs are just one part of the Website. You can keep exploring with articles, inspiration, and more.
Life Reimagined involves practices that guide you through change. You can start at a place where you currently are in your life, and see where the possibilities lead you. Be sure to check out the Life Reimagined Website, and see all it has to offer!
More Great Resources for Retirement Planning
Life Reimagined is a helpful resource, but certain questions still remain for the soon-to-be retiree. For example, you may wonder how long you can expect to live given your current lifestyle, what kind of paperwork you should take care of before entering retirement, and once in retirement, what are you going to do with your time and energy? Here are some other helpful web apps to help you prepare for a comfortable and lively life as a retiree:
· : Vitality Compass is an app by Blue Zones, a project that started as an exploration by National Geographic to find the longest living cultures across the world. The app calculates things like your overall life expectancy and analyzes how many years you’re losing due to poor lifestyle habits. It consists of a simple six-part questionnaire, including a few questions about your background, outlook, diet, exercise, environment, etc. It takes less than 10 minutes to complete and the results are helpful as a preparatory tool to see “how much retirement” you can look forward to.
· Sometimes it’s good to get a second opinion. “How Long Will I Live?” is another life expectancy calculator that gives more accurate-than-most results. The team of researchers behind this app are from the University of Pennsylvania, a well-regarded research-oriented Ivy League University (and also my alma mater). As part of this project, they explain how the calculations are performed, including a rundown of basic concepts and a mathematical summary. Based on the questions alone, you’ll see that it looks at different factors than the Vitality Compass, so it’s a good supplemental tool to use. (Remember: these are just apps. As you know, nothing can definitively tell you how long you’ll live!) :
· Once you have an idea of how long you can expect to live, it’s time to decide what you’re going to do during those years. Life Planning For You aims to help you reorganize your money in a way that lets you pursue your greatest dreams. The website offers a set of questions (called Exploration, Vision, Obstacles, Knowledge, and Execution, or EVOKE exercises) that help you pinpoint what exactly you want from life.
· : As you know, Social Security benefits will make up a good chunk of your retirement income. What most people don’t realize, however, is that they might not be receiving as much money as they could. By using the Social Security Planner app, you will be able to analyze the income you estimate that you will receive and discover the optimal strategy for securing as much money as you can.
· This income planner is specifically designed for people who are within five years of retirement or are already retired. It’s a 30-minute process that will optimize how long your retirement money will last.
Successful Retirement Requires Planning
No matter where you are on the road towards retirement, continued planning is critical to success. In addition to catching up with good personal finance habits, it is also important to plan for yourself and for your loved ones. Why? Because planning in advance enables you to sort options and make smarter decisions ahead of time.
Every adult reaching retirement age should have certain legal documents in place: an Incapacity Plan (to avoid lifetime probate) that includes a , an and an ,; and an Estate Plan (to avoid after-death probate) that includes a Living Trust and a Pour-over Will. If you or your loved ones have not done or Incapacity Planning or Estate Planning (or have not had your documents reviewed in the past several years), please call us as soon as possible to make an appointment for a no-cost consultation or second opinion.
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