In Hartford’s series about navigating the 8000 Days of Retirement the first step is the Honeymoon phase. I think most of us have a picture in our minds of what a Honeymoon phase is like: everything is new and exciting. All of a sudden you are not beholden to the alarm clock and every day seems wide open with possibilities.
Once the Honeymoon is over the settling into a Retirement lifestyle begins. During this Big Decision phase we begin to make those choices that will shape the rest of our retirement. Where to live? How big of a house? How will I fill all this free time? And how much money can I spend to help me fill this extra time?
Everybody has their own version of what is the right option for each of our big decisions. I have seen people make successful choices to both downsize and to “go big” and choose a destination home for the first few years of retirement. These decisions will set the framework for the rest our lives.
The big decisions that occur at the end of this phase are more affected by the increasing medical concerns and our income projections. The reality of living off of Savings and Social Security will shape our financial decisions as we prepare for the third phase: Navigating Longevity.