Editors' pick: Originally published Oct. 20.
You committed early to saving for retirement. But now that you're 60 years old and just a few years away from the big day, you decide you can use a little help.
So, sitting with your spouse in your financial planner's office, the first question you get is: "What does retirement look like for you?" Suddenly, you realize you have no idea. You and your spouse have given little thought to life after retirement.
Survey after survey tells us how unprepared financially most Americans are for retirement. According to a Bankrate.com survey, a third of Americans (36%) have nothing saved for retirement. But while many surveys look at how unprepared we are financially, few tell us how unprepared we are for the non-financial part of retirement. Many people still retire and have no idea how they will spend their days.
"Planning for life after retirement is so critical for someone to envision what life will look like after they retire," says Andrew Rafal, president and founder of Bayntree Wealth Advisors in Scottsdale, Ariz. "For planners, it gets beyond the numbers. Each of us has been working for -- some of us -- 40 years, day after day. Envisioning what life will look like is so important. When we talk to clients the first time, getting the income figured out is important, but also we want to understand their passions. What do they want next chapter will look like?"
Rafal says that people can't wait until the month or even the year before they retire to start thinking about post-retirement life.