A fun retirement goes hand-in-hand with a safe and secure retirement. If you are scraping by or end up spending all of your retirement savings, it is hard to have a “fun” retirement.

If you want to have a fun retirement, the first thing to do is set up your retirement goals. There are three types of goals:

  • Short-term: the first year of retirement
  • Medium-term: within 2–5 years of retirement
  • Longer-term: five year out

Knowing your goals allows you to understand what will make you happy (or be fun). For example, a short-term goal might be dinner with friends (very short-term), sign-up for pro-tennis lessons, or volunteer. A medium-term goal might be to travel to Italy or learn a new language. A longer-term goal might be to replace your car, move, or save for your grandchild’s education.

Each of these goals has an associated cost, and based on your retirement budget (and you do need a budget to understand your income, assets, debt, and expenses — make this a short-term goal if you don’t have one yet), you can determine what you can afford. Perhaps the BMW doesn’t make sense, but the Toyota does.

Finally, you can prioritize the goals either within each “term” or mix them together for one big list (maybe the car is more important to you than the tennis lessons and travel). This will allow you to understand what is really important and what isn’t, and allow you to maximize your retirement.

Dreaming of the night sky

So, where is the fun? Well, many of the goals you set should be fun…travel or getting your hair done. And it is O.K. to dream! This is your retirement, so put in exciting goals or bucket list dreams. By knowing the cost and priority, you can see what you are realistically able to achieve…and you might be in for a surprise.

As Carl Sandberg said,“Nothing happens unless first we dream.”