Concrete Steps You Can Take for a Rockin' Third Act
This is where the rubber hits the road for a happy, healthy, prosperous retirement
If you’re just getting started on planning for a healthy, happy, purposeful Third Act, it may seem a little overwhelming. You’ve been reading my newsletter for a while, so you know you need a wellness plan, a spending plan, lots of ways to connect, a purpose and some ideas to put some FUN in your future. That’s a LOT! Where do you start? Well, I’ve got a few ideas for you. Here’s my “roadmap” for the folks who have about 5 years to go before they retire. You’ll see some milestones for Year 5 and Year 4 below. These are just to get you started. They are not a prescription. They are food for thought. Add your own milestones as well! Share them with friends to get ideas. Certainly, share them with your significant other so you are on the same page with your goals. And have fun with it!
5 year milestones by pilar
* Create your retirement vision - This doesn’t have to be final, just a starting place. What does your retirement look like? Describe the life you’d like to have and find places where you will find meaning in that life. What are the values you will live by?
* Define your “why.” Why do you want to be fit and well in your retirement years? So you can travel? play with your grandkids? have energy to give back? Not end up like your parents?
* Try 1 new thing a month that contributes to your wellness – a new recipe, a new walking route or exercise class, a new type of fruit.
* Eat some vegetables!
* Invite a friend over for coffee or happy hour.
* Make a list of all of the people that you connect with on a regular basis. Are they all work friends? (That’s OK, but it means you need to make a special effort to enjoy their company outside of work.)
* Make a list of things you would enjoy doing if you had the time. Get a good variety of things that are free and things that are more expensive. Include activities in your own backyard to activities that are a world away.
* Know your budget. Use Mint or a similar software to keep track of what you are spending.
* Get a handle on your debt. Make a list of how much you owe and what the interest rates are. Start by moving your credit card debt to a new card with a zero interest introductory rate if you can, and see if you can pay it off before the interest rate expires.
4 year milestones
* Take a look at your industry. Will it still be a vibrant field in 5 or 10 years? Are people doing consulting or part time work in your field? Is this field becoming more or less interesting to you? Just examining for now; no decisions.
* Are there opportunities to get involved in your place of worship or your nephew’s school or the charity that you like to give to?
* Make a list of the jobs you wish you had if you hadn’t chosen the one that you did.
*Find an activity that you are willing to do 3x/week. Walk. Run. Ride a bike. Garden. Try out yoga. Join a league. Search a bunch of stuff until you find something that fits.
* Start learning to make meals at home, if you don’t already do that. Try to include as much fruit, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains as possible
* Check in to long term care insurance. Now is the time to get coverage and build that into your budget if you think you need it.
* Accept all (reasonable) invitations to get together with people.
* Plan a get-together with a friend or family member at least once per month
* Share your FUN list with your significant other and check theirs. Decide what FUN thing from your list you’re going to do first thing after you retire. Start putting money aside for it and start a scrapbook to put pictures and thoughts in anticipation.
* Calculate your expected retirement income using one of the online retirement calculators available through most financial institutions.
* Track your budget! Where is your money going?
* Work on that debt! Make a plan to pay it off in the next 3 years.
Call to action
You don’t have to do everything on these lists. You just have to figure out where you have gaps to the vision you wrote and get that rubber on the road by writing out steps to close those gaps and getting them on your schedule! Don’t just admire the roadmap, pack the car and get out on the road!
If you liked the idea of concrete steps toward your retirement and would like a similar roadmap for years 3,2 and 1 leading up to retirement (or you can even use them after retirement if you have a few gaps to fill) reply to this email and I’ll send you my full 5 year roadmap.