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What will your retirement persona be?





After you retire, do you want to travel the globe -- or spend your days at home with your grandchildren? Or perhaps you'd rather just pursue that elusive hole-in-one at the golf course?

The good news is that retirement can accommodate virtually any lifestyle. The bad news is that, depending on how much you've saved, not all of these retirement lifestyles may be realistic for you. One of the keys to retirement savings is making sure that your savings effort matches the lifestyle you want to live after you leave the workforce.

"We really encourage pre-retirees to talk about their expectations," says Eric Taylor, vice president of annuity sales and national sales manager in the Richmond, Va., office of Genworth Financial. "Many times we find that spouses are unaware of what their partners really want. The husband might secretly want to buy a boat while his spouse would rather spend time with the grandchildren. To live the retirement you want, you have to talk about your expectations."

Can you see yourself adopting one of the retirement personas below? If so, you may want to review the tips on what it takes to prepare for it.

1. The expat

Want to move to Belize after you retire? Then you have some serious planning to do.

Ken Moraif, a senior advisor at Plano, Texas-based wealth management and investment firm Money Matters, says that you'll need to consider both the financial and lifestyle ramifications of such a retirement.

Moraif points to clients who planned to sell their home and move to Belize. It seemed to make sense: The clients loved vacationing there, so why not live in the sunny paradise on a full-time basis? Moraif advised the clients to rent a home in the city for six months before they retired. The clients soon found that living in Belize wasn't quite as nice as vacationing there.

"They were too far from their families," Moraif says. "They also realized that they wouldn't have enough to do every day. So they decided to change that plan."

Living in a foreign land can sound fun, and for many retirees it is. But it's wise for potential expats to consider how far they'll be from their families, the nearest airport and adequate medical services before they make the move.

2. The globetrotter

Instead of living in a foreign country, perhaps you'd like to travel the globe after leaving the working world. Again, you'll need to plan. Susan Conrad, vice president of Plancorp Retirement Plan Advisors in St. Louis, says that most of her clients say they want to spend their retirement years either traveling or spending more time with their grandchildren.

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