The One Word Retirement Plan

In Articles, Retirement Thinking, Weekly Articles by Adam Cufr

If you had an opportunity to read last week’s article, I asked readers to share thoughts about their own experiences with planning for and living in retirement. If you’d like a refresher, or missed it, here’s a link to the article: ­­­­­Click Here. The responses received were surprisingly thorough and not-surprisingly full of wisdom. Thanks to those who responded already.

Some common denominators in the responses centered around hard work, sacrifice, constant learning, and time with family. The choice of retirement vehicle ranged from the exchange of a bricks-and-mortar condo for that of a permanent-home-RV, to the purchase of a very fast Porsche. It just goes to show that everyone has their own speed for such an occasion.

One of the responses included this phrase: “Flexibility is the key with our retirement plan.” When I read that, I was struck by a question, what if everyone had to distill his or her desired retirement experience down to a single word, a one-word retirement plan?

If you could choose just a single descriptor for what you’d like for the next 30 years of your life, what would it be?

For some, flexibility may be the word, for others, family. Here are words that may strike a chord with you:

  • Flexibility
  • Family
  • Faithfulness
  • Activity
  • Travel
  • Peacefulness
  • Contentment
  • Regret-Free (does a hyphen qualify it as one word?)
  • Growth
  • Healthy
  • Community
  • Volunteerism

While it may be that a single word just doesn’t encapsulate all that you’d like your retirement to be, do you see how this exercise can help to narrow down, or eliminate, what isn’t the best word? From this, you can establish goals and set decision frameworks around the experiences you’d like to create.

Perhaps it’s idealistic to think that a decades-long retirement can be built upon a single word, but the process of trying to arrive at that word is the most valuable benefit from this exercise. The process requires thought, conversation, and reflection. The process involves becoming clearer about who you are, what you’d like to become, and what might result if you actually met your lifestyle goals. Those seem to be worthy endeavors to me, but how about you? Can you choose a word upon which you’ll build your life?
Will you try?

All the best,
Adam Cufr Signature
Adam Cufr, RICP®