What Retirement Means to Me

by Ron Haynes

Most really savvy financial planners today know they have to get their clients to decide what to do during retirement. As regular “non-financial” pro’s (accumulators), we are overly focused on the gathering, the collecting, the accumulation of wealth. We fret over ten basis points on a CD or over the exact allocation of stocks, bonds, Treasuries, REITs, or whatever.

That isn’t what’s important. That stuff is the “how.” What’s always more important than the “how” is the “why.”

Financial planners will start off a session asking people what age they hope to retire, how much they have available to invest today, how much they plan to set aside on a periodic basis and, finally, what they plan to do during retirement. The answer to that last question determines the course of action for the first three.

“Of course,” you say, “that makes sense. If I plan to live like a king in retirement, I’ll have to have the funds to back that lifestyle. No kidding!”

So, what DOES retirement mean to you. What do you hope to accomplish? What do you hope to actually DO?

Here’s how I view my eventual retirement and what I would like to do:

1. I want to have a free and clear home that is large enough for family gatherings, but small enough to require a minimum of maintenance.

2. I want to take my wife on a fabulous trip once a year to an exotic locale such as Rome, Florence, Milan, London, Tokyo, Egypt, Athens, Hawaii, Sydney, the Fiji Islands, Thailand, Germany, or Switzerland. I want to be able to afford to bring my grandchildren.

3. I want to own a late model class C motor home that my wife and I can drive to other locations in the United States and visit interesting places and people.

4. I want to have a consulting business so I can stay up to date on the latest happenings in the business world and teach others what I discover. I would run this business, it would not run me. I could use my motor home as a traveling office! Cool!

5. I want to be able to bless the lives of others in a financial way, helping them adopt unwanted children, feed needy people, and care for the sick. I want others to know me as a kind, caring, and giving person.

6. I want to be healthy enough to take my grandchildren snow skiing and challenge them to a race down a black diamond slope…and win.

7. I want to be able to financially care for my parents, if they need it, and be able to insure they are well taken care of in their twilight years.

8. I want to be able to fund college expenses for my grandchildren and create a lasting legacy of hope and education. Preferably, I’d be able to establish some sort of family trust.

9. I want to spend time gardening, fishing, playing golf, and spending time outdoors. I also want to try my hand at cross breeding flowers to see what happens.

10. I want to know what it’s like to have “every day be Saturday” and know that I’m free to do what I choose.

Knowing these things and having them written down helps motivate me to work that direction. What are the visions you have for your retirement? How about your spouse? Remember that where there are two different visions, you have di-vision. Make sure your ideas about retirement line up with your spouse’s ideas. If you plan to live like a pauper and he or she like royalty, you’re gonna have conflict. Work these ideas out today.

Tell me: Why do you want to retire and what will you do?

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 1000 articles on The Wisdom Journal.

The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.

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Jeff@My Super-Charged Life

Great vision of the future! I commend you on knowing what you want. These are excellent goals to have. Ahh, if only everyday was Saturday. I could think about that all day. :cool:


@Jeff@My Super-Charged Life:
Thanks Jeff. They’re big goals but you gotta dream big, right? :D
I love the every day is Saturday line. That’s a classic.


I’m trying to figure out what I want to do in 10 years, so I can’t imagine my life in 45!

I think it’s great that you have a solid retirement goal. It makes it a lot easier to save!


Thanks. It certainly motivates me to look at expenditures differently.
Do you have any retirement goals?

AJC @ 7million7years

Dough Roller wrote about “3 simple questions that can change your life”[from an author named George Kinder] – I think that these “life purpose’ questions come JUST BEFORE your great questions:


As my comment on that post said, asking questions like these took me from $30k in debt to $7million in the bank in only 7 years.

Thanks for getting the ball rolling on such an important topic! AJC.


@AJC @ 7million7years:
One of these days here soon, I’m going to have to talk with you about this $7 million thing. :D
I need details and a system I can replicate!

CiaranFrom Chance

Thanks for the very nice mention Ron, I appreciate that. It’s obvious you have spent some time thinking about your goals. I’m not sure I’m ever seen a more organized list, good for you.


@CiaranFrom Chance:
Thank you. I really had to think on these and examine what I wanted to do or be, not just how much I wanted to have.

full-grown single

Hi, Ron,

This was a terrific post– it’s still got me thinking!




@full-grown single:
Great. I did my job!!!

Whatcha thinking about?

Nora Dunn

Brilliant article, Ron. And you’ve hit the nail on the head: if only financial planners would find out the intangible factors before trying to put numbers to it. (I used to do this as a financial planner myself, and it was a great way to differentiate myself from other planners and create amazing relationships with my clients).

When I ultimately defined what retirement meant to me, I realized that I didn’t have to wait for it any longer. So I “retired”…at the age of 30. It’s not what many would call retirement, but that’s the beauty of life and the ability to make choices.


@Nora Dunn:
Thank you Nora. Numbers rarely motivate, dreams usually do!


hey Nora,

Saw your name popup on the thread and wanted to know if there was a way to email you directly at WB. Really like your articles and I share a similar mentality to you (in cetain respects to financial planning (and life) actually.

Wanted to email you directly in the past, but only saw a general email over at WB. Please let me know, you can click on the link here and drop me a line. Thanks

Sorry Ron for the mini hijacking:)


No problem. Mi casa es su casa!

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