Retirement lifestyle planning questions

Key Points

  • Having a retirement vision may help you plan for your retirement goals.
  • You're more likely to achieve your retirement goals if you write them down.
  • Refining expectations is an important part of the financial planning process.

Planning for retirement should also include how you want to live when you retire. Considering the possibilities can help you envision and plan for your retirement lifestyle. Remember, people who write down their retirement goals are more likely to achieve them.

What do you want to do in retirement?

Consider the following things to do in retirement, and remember, these ideas are just thought starters. There are many ways to spend your free time that could add meaning and value to your life in retirement.

Second career Hobbies Volunteer work Learning Relaxing and enjoying life
Non-profit executive Restore an old car Build homes for the homeless Go back to school Travel with the family
Patient representative Make quilts Volunteer for a political party Learn another language Read more
Celebrant/ religious leader Garden Teach people to read Get your pilot's license Savor quiet time
Public school teacher or college professor Write a novel      
Financial advisor        
Retail sales        


Who do you want to spend time with in retirement?

Maintaining social connections can be challenging throughout our lives. The loss of work friends is the most unforeseen challenge of retirement. It's important to take an active role in building and maintaining your support network of friends, family and acquaintances now that you're retired.

  • Spouse or partner. Consider new activities you may participate in together.
  • Family. How far away are your parents, children and grandchildren? What activities do you like to do together? Do you desire or need to travel to see family members?
  • Friends. How much do you like to entertain and stay socially active?
  • New friends. How can you meet new people? Consider classes, clubs and organizations.

Do you dream of traveling in retirement?

Travel can provide solitude, companionship, adventure or relaxation. The possibilities are endless.

  • Destination. U.S., overseas, historical sites, places from your roots, homes of friends or family
  • Transportation. Motor home, car, bicycle, motorcycle, plane, train, bus
  • Frequency. Number of trips each year, duration
  • Travel companions. Spouse or partner, friends, children, tour groups

Where do you want to live in retirement?

Do you want to stay in your current home? Do you want to be part of a community? Do you want to try a new climate or lifestyle? Do you want to live in multiple locations?

How do you intend to stay healthy and active in retirement?

As your lifestyle changes in retirement, it's important to think about how you will take care of yourself. This includes mental and physical well-being, and a nurturing environment.

Physical fitness Mental fitness Health care: Learn about and make the most of your benefits
Join a health club Take classes Health insurance
Take walks Go to concerts Health savings accounts (HSA)
Learn martial arts Play chess or cards Medical help lines
Play golf Write a book Medicare
Buy a home gym Practice meditation Long-term care
Practice yoga   Prescription drugs


How do you want to make a difference?

Retirement goals can include helping others. Think about the people who matter to you, what you hope the future holds for them, and how you might help them realize their own dreams. What organizations or causes represent your values? How do you want to support them?

  • Family. Fund education, instill values, or teach personal skills
  • Community. Serve on a board, provide volunteer outreach, do fund-raising, or donate money
  • Friends. Form support groups or be a mentor

What do you want your legacy to be?

We all have a say in how we're remembered. Our legacy is formed by the ideas, actions and causes to which we dedicate ourselves today. What's important to you? What do you want to pass on to others?

  • Family and friends. Children, siblings, parents, friends, or pets
  • Spiritual interests. Your place of worship, religious organizations
  • Schools. Your alma mater, your family members' schools
  • Charities or causes. Food banks, shelters, arts, research organizations

What brings you happiness? Having a retirement vision is as important as money in achieving a fulfilling retirement. An Ameriprise financial advisor can help you look at how to use your retirement income to help support your retirement lifestyle goals.


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Investment advisory products and services are made available through Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC., a registered investment adviser.