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Retirement is often envisioned as a time of watching sunsets with a spouse, spending quality time with friends, traveling around the world, or pursuing your favorite hobbies all day long. But this idealization of retirement years spawned by advertisers can be problematic if you’re not wealthy.

While, of course, there is nothing wrong with spending a few days exploring new climes or indulging in your favorite hobbies, pursuing nothing but a holiday-style lifestyle is impractical. When you do too much of a good thing for too long, it begins to lose its charm. Your third cup of tea is never as tasty as your first cup. Additionally, an extravagant lifestyle will quickly drain your retirement funds.

Here are some more realistic options to developing the right retirement plan that will neither drain your income nor disappoint you.

Take Care of Your Loved Ones When You’re Gone

While most people think that the best way to provide for their loved ones is by leaving them everything they own in a will, this may not amount to much if you don’t have a large estate. You should also think of ways to make sure that your loved ones are not burdened with the costs of your funeral. According to PolicyZip, getting burial insurance will help your family cover all your final expenses.

Be a Less Hedonistic Consumer

During your working years, you probably enjoyed spending money on big tickets items. Despite these occasional outbursts of materialistic extravagance, you always had the option to work overtime or take on a side hustle to help you restore your financial balance.

When you retire on a fixed income, these hedonistic urges will still be with you, but since you’ll have fewer ways to earn the money back, chasing a small amount of pleasure will not be worth it. For instance, if you decide to buy a new car the joy of ownership won’t last long. You’ll quickly discover that “the new car smell” will cost you far more than you had bargained for. While the pleasure of driving a new car and impressing the neighbors will last you for a few weeks or months, the frustration of having an ongoing monthly car payment and expensive car insurance will deprive you of your financial ability to manage many basic expenses.

Change your Lifestyle

Finances should not be your main concern after your retirement. Many retirees find themselves quickly bored after they’ve done all the things that they thought would give them pleasure—travel, fine dining, visiting friends in different countries, watching all the big games on TV, and so on. All the free time that they had been looking forward to eventually becomes a burden. One reason for this ennui is that leisure activities aren’t as stimulating as their day-to-day lives used to be when they had interesting jobs.

Some retirees become so bored that they even start a new business because they reach a point where they can’t stand the idea of trying to fill up their days with meaningless activities.

For this reason, it’s important to do things that you find stimulating during your retirement. If, for instance, you’re an extrovert, you need to find ways to spend more time with other people rather than watch TV all day. If you love solving business problems, studying, inventing, or fixing things, then build a lifestyle around these interests.

In summary, the right retirement plan for you may not fit the idealized lifestyles that you see whenever you chance upon some retirement commercials sponsored by investment firms. It’s important that you choose a retirement plan that suits your personality and fits your values.

 

About the author: Taylor

 

Taylor Brown is the founder of Repaid.org. He has paid down 90% of his credit card debt through smart budgeting, frugal-living, and inspiration/support from other personal finance bloggers.

 

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