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What's Your Retirement Life Plan?

What's Your Retirement Life Plan?

You worked hard. You raised your family. You contributed to your 401Ks. You watched your debt or better yet you're debt free. The time has arrived. You're retired. No longer will you devote 40 to 50 hours per week to working and your commute.

It's a great time. There's no mortgage to pay. College expenses are over. Weddings are paid for. It's time for your investments to provide a little discretionary income.

Now that you have arrived at that moment, what is your plan? How does your vision of retirement match with that of your spouse? You might be surprised. We were.

Our retirement began with a move to Chattanooga an area closer to where two of our three children were residing. Note I said were as one has since moved to Colorado. Oh well.

I started out working part-time as a training consultant. As the economy got weaker so did opportunities as a trainer, since the first cuts are often to training. Oh well.

For my wife and I the transition into retirement meant taking control of our investments and becoming self directed investors. It meant developing a portfolio business plan that would define investment objectives and provide clear directions on both the buying and selling of our individual holdings. Our plan is available here.

Next we updated our will and estate plan. We took steps to help insure that we each had the skills to function independent should such a need later arise. For me it means becoming more comfortable in the kitchen. For my wife it meant learning the ends and outs of internet banking and bill paying. I wrote more on the subject in this article.

Recent, friends who are also retired talked about a process they underwent with their then financial planner to create a retirement life plan. They have since left the planner while their retirement life plan remains in place.

Retirement Life Plan, sounds like a great idea! Having a business plan for our investments has paid off. Clearly we needed just such a plan. After all what good is growing your investments if their not helping support what's really important.

We embarked on a new journey, each of us better defining our personal vision of retirement. After a few internet searches we found numerous resources to assist. We fully explored broad areas like health, family/relationships and leisure and travel. Next we identified the amount of discretionary income available to financially support our final plan objectives.

We each performed the exercise independently; ultimately arriving at our top ten ranked retirement life style objectives and how we believed our discretionary retirement income could best support those objectives. My wife and I each spent hours of soul searching finally arriving at our top ten objectives.

Next we each presented our lists orally elaborating on each item beginning with the 10th ranked item moving one by one to the item we felt to be the most important.

During our presentations we found of agreement and areas where we disagreed particularly as to how a particular objective was ranked in importance.

Next we took each other's list and ranked them from one to ten, this time from our perspective. With each step we grew closer to our shared vision of retirement and how our portfolio could best support that vision.

We have defined our 2013 Life Plan Priorities and are in our second month of implementing our objectives. Like our portfolio business plan we plan to review our progress on a quarterly basis, making adjustments to our goals and corresponding budget when required.

Seeking Alpha is about so much more than just growing investments; it's also about growing the lives they ultimately help to support. Now it's your turn to share your experiences in seeking and obtaining the best retirement life possible.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.