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What’s on Your Retirement Wish List?

  • 1. Explore new places
  • 2. Start over somewhere new
  • 3. Embark on your second act
  • 4. Make your community your priority
  • 5. Expand your skills and knowledge
  • 6. Spoil your grandchildren
  • 7. Transform your home
  • 8. Become a health nut
  • 9. Mentor the next generation
  • 10. Reconnect with long-lost friends
  • 11. Write the Great American Novel
  • 12. Try to break a world record
  • 13. Live a life of leisure

By Stephen Sellner | Citizens Bank Staff

Think back to when you were a kid. How many times did you dream of getting something awesome — a new bike, the must-have toy of the season, or even your own car — and begged your parents to get it for you for the holidays or your birthday? Probably a lot.

Fortunately, you can recapture that wishful thinking in retirement. When planned accordingly, retirement can take that “I’ve always wanted one!” excitement and stretch it over years and years. Today’s the day to start building a wish list and plan of action so by the time you retire, you can live out the life you’ve always dreamed of.

Need some inspiration for your retirement wish list? Here are some ideas.

1. Explore new places

Traveling is a common retirement wish. It’s hard to find the time during your working years to get out and see the world. In retirement, time is no longer an excuse. So, where do you want to go? What do you want to see?

Some people opt to take a bridge year between working and retirement that they devote to traveling around the world.

2. Start over somewhere new

Do you live in a city but dream of a simpler life in the countryside? Are you itching to be closer to your grandchildren? Or has a beach house been a yearning of yours? A huge part of living out your dream retirement is deciding where that dream will take place.

Interested in a second-act career? You could turn a hobby into your very own business!

3. Embark on your second act

Retirement could be your chance to turn your passion into a business of your own. Do you have a skill or hobby that you’d like to pursue further? Maybe you’re an excellent chef whose desserts are always the talk of the dinner party. Or your photography selection catches the eye of all your house guests.

What if you could turn those hobbies and skills into something more?

4. Make your community your priority

Do you have a passion for giving back to your community? In retirement, you’ll have more time to volunteer now that you’ve traded in that 40-hour work week.

5. Expand your skills and knowledge

Have you dreamed of becoming fluent in another language? Did you always want to pick up the guitar? Retirement is a perfect time to sign up for classes at a local community college or take lessons through a tutor.

For some, being an active grandparent is the most fulfilling part of retirement.

6. Spoil your grandchildren

Instead of living a lavish, self-centered retirement, you could devote all your attention to your grandkids. Be the grandparent that goes to great lengths to spoil their grandchildren, and be there for all their big moments. Who wouldn’t love that?

7. Transform your home

Rather than sell your home and move somewhere tropical, you could stay put and turn your home into a retirement paradise!

For instance, have you always dreamed of putting in a pool? Or making the basement into a gameday destination? How about turning your garage into your very own gym? Here’s your chance to let your imagination take off!

8. Become a health nut

Speaking of the gym, retirement could be your chance to make some healthy changes to your life. Instituting a better diet and a regular workout regimen can help you stay healthy and hopefully limit your healthcare expenses.

9. Mentor the next generation

By the time you retire, you’ll have decades worth of experience — professional or otherwise — worth passing along to others. For example, you could volunteer to give job interview tips to veterans who are re-entering the workforce. Or, you could babysit the children of single parents while they’re at work.

Life gets hectic, so naturally you lose contact with friends. Reach out in retirement to catch them up on all the things you’ve been up to over the years.

10. Reconnect with long-lost friends

Have you lost contact with your college roommate or childhood best friend? Send them a message on Facebook to reconnect. You’ll have lots to catch up on!

11. Write the Great American Novel

You don’t have to be the next Mark Twain to pen your own masterpiece.

12. Try to break a world record

Did you know the world record for most Rubik’s cubes solved, one-handed, while treading water, in one hour is 137? OK, maybe that’s not the best example, but there’s bound to be a world record out there that — with a little practice or training — you could someday break.

13. Live a life of leisure

If none of these things are appealing, you could opt for the simple life and wake up each day whenever you want and decide what to do.

What to remember

Retirement comes in a lot of different shapes and sizes. There’s no one-size-fits-all option; the possibilities are endless. So ask yourself: If you could do whatever you wanted for 20-plus years, what would be on your list?

And don’t forget to get on the same page with your significant other so each of you knows the other’s expectations for the next stage of your life.

More information

Need help turning your retirement wish list into an actionable plan? Schedule a Citizens Retirement Checkup at your nearest Citizens Bank branch.

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