I celebrated my birthday last month. Not a significant one by any means, but still a nice chance for some reflection and retrospection. In two years I have a big birthday. You know, one of those decade milestones. I find myself wanting to create a bucket list, something to lead up to the event, and then a reason to celebrate. Which got me thinking maybe I should create a new list every decade, always have some new adventure on the horizon, something to work towards, yet attainable. I believe creating a bucket list can improve your life and your retirement.
I have always been a goal-driven person. I like the sense of accomplishment, it just feels good! As I’ve checked off many of my to-do’s in life; college, marriage, house, etc, I’ve noticed myself setting less goals, feeling less good about myself, and falling into a funk. This is often what happens to older retired people in their supposed “golden years”. Even though we all know we’ve had many fantastic accomplishments in life, without goals – or in my case a bucket list – the days just kind of go by, the weeks all blur together, and we just end up observing other people accomplishing their goals instead.
All my grandparents continued setting goals as they got older, and they stayed active in their communities. From church to Lions Club to Bingo, I always heard stories about something interesting. My grandmother took water aerobics and a senior writing course. My other grandmother frequented the historical society and educational lectures. They stayed social, active, and engaged and were much happier in retirement for it, which is proven to aid in physical health and longevity.
“Talk to a specialist today, find out if long-term care insurance fits into your plan, and mark one item off your bucket list!”
A bucket list gives people something to look forward to and plan for. It creates focus and pushes people out of their comfort zone. As people get older, they tend to seclude themselves, depression can set in, and this leads to a whole other set of issues. Always have goals in mind, no matter how silly they seem. My current silly goals are to take some piano lessons, learn how to make a croissant, and climb Mount St. Helens. Talk to your parents, grandparents, and any elderly people in your life who may be in their own funk. Create a bucket list together and brainstorm ways to check items off.
If they don’t have much money, their bucket list could include a lot of free things – such as visiting every museum that offers a free day, volunteering for organizations that are important to them, or walking in every park within a 20 miles radius of their home. If they can no longer drive they can utilize GoGoGrandparent or other community ride sharing establishments. A bucket list could even be as simple as inviting a different friend or family member over for lunch once a week. It doesn’t have to be expensive or extravagant, it just has to give them something to look forward to.
As you get older, one of the top items on your bucket list should be to prepare for your financial future. Get your legal docs in order, make sure your retirement account is where it should be, and look into long-term care insurance. Talk to a specialist today, find out if long-term care insurance fits into your plan, and mark one item off your bucket list!