No Regrets Retirement Plan


Traditional retirement planning typically includes a “visioning” or goal-based discussion that revolves around big-picture items that require savings – annual travel, a second home, or maintaining a lifestyle based on a percentage of your pre-retirement income. What’s missing are the intangibles – the thoughts, feelings, and experiences that are at the root of living a truly rewarding retirement. To assemble the missing pieces, it’s important to figure out what’s truly important about your time in retirement, which is exactly what we are going to help you uncover with our “No-Regrets Retirement” worksheet. Answer the following questions in as much detail, and with as much feeling and conviction as possible. This exercise can have a powerful impact on your retirement if you put effort into your answers, and allow what they reveal to work for you. Spend as much time as you need on each question before moving onto the next section.

Section 1

What is your perfect retirement? Dare to dream big for a moment. Step away from the confines of traditional retirement planning by removing any preconceived notions or limitations and think big and bold. What's your absolutely perfect retirement? How much money would you love to have saved? How much income will you live on each year? What type of car(s) will you drive? Will you travel? Live in more than one location? What hobbies and leisure activities will you participate in? What will you do with your time? What hopes and dreams have been on hold until retirement?

How will these things fit into your perfect day and perfect week? Below, be specific about your definition for the perfect retirement and what your perfect day and perfect week will look and feel like?

Perfect Day in Retirement

Perfect Week in Retirement

Section 2

Imagine that the day after you retire your doctor informs you that you have only five years left to live. Stop for a moment and let the emotional impact set in. Your life has just been cut short by 20-30 years, and your ability to experience and enjoy it will be gone in five short years. Now, what will your focus in retirement be? Describe what you would want to accomplish, see or do during your final years.

Section 3

Suppose that during a routine check-up that your doctor suddenly informs you that you have just 48 hours to live. Instead of concentrating on what you would do with your remaining time, ask yourself:

  • What hopes and dreams will you have to let go of?
  • What do you wish you had accomplished, seen, felt or experienced just one more time?
  • What regrets would you have?

Take a minute to think about your answers to these questions and what they brought to light for you What did you come to understand about yourself and what’s important to you in retirement? Did your idea of a perfect retirement in Section 1 differ from what you identified as the most essential in Section 3? How will you integrate the answers in Section 3 with your perfect day and week?