Finishing All Your To-do Lists
Does being liberated from the obligations of full-time work mean you will now get through all of your unfinished to-do lists? Maybe. Maybe not. Some people are compulsive list-makers. If you fall into this group, you may be itching to get yourself organized with lists so you can enjoy the satisfaction of checking off each item as it is accomplished. Others operate in a more, shall we say, unstructured manner. You may be more of a “go with the flow” kind of person, but also set goals. You just reach them in a different style. Regardless of how you manage your way through life, entering retirement is a great opportunity to step back and take a fresh look at the things you need to do, and the dreams you have yet to achieve.
To begin, you might want to bracket the rest of your life into five- or ten-year segments and then identify broad areas you need to address as you move along. These could include:
Legal — wills, health care proxies, etc.
Sights to see
Things to do
Experiences to have/share
Relationships to mend
Once you have the broad strokes painted, you can begin to fill in the details. Whether you go through the exercise of actually writing down your goals or just keep them in a more fluid state in your mind, you will want to be purposeful in addressing them.
Even the best-laid plans can crumble when an unexpected turn of events happens. Be ready to adapt to interruptions to your plans with alternative strategies. Have contingency plans for the big-impact changes so you will not be faced with finding solutions in the middle of a crisis.
Look around at your family, friends, and neighbors and observe how they are living their lives in their fifties, sixties, seventies, eighties, and beyond. Talk to them and learn what they are satisfied with in their lives and try to elicit from them areas they wish they had handled differently. Ultimately you will make your own decisions about how to live your life, but you may get some helpful insights from others that can help shape your retirement goals.