According to the latest guidelines from the CDC, it's finally time for vaccinated retirees to put away their masks and get back to enjoying retirement. If your to-do list is looking a little crowded after a year of missed hugs and delayed vacations, crossing off these 4 items will jump start your transition back into the wider world.
- Reconnect with friends and family.
Video chat made pandemic lockdowns a little more manageable and a lot less lonely. But now that you can safely enjoy some real facetime, zoom over to visit the friends and family you've been missing.
If it's a long trip, you and your spouse might pass the time talking about whether you'd like to move closer to your loved ones at some stage of your retirement. The bonds that helped you get through this difficult year will make your active retirement years more fulfilling and provide extra comfort and security as you age.
- Enjoy the great indoors.
Local health care guidelines might affect the spacing and masking rules at your favorite cafes, restaurants, and stores. But if you're vaccinated and you don't mind slipping a mask on and off between bites of food, indoor dining and entertainment are back on the menu.
Many local charitable organizations are starting to reopen their doors as well. If the pandemic interrupted your volunteer schedule, check out what new needs have opened up in your community. The good work you do will feel even more fulfilling now that you're outside of your house and contributing in-person.
After a year of social distancing and lockdowns, don't be surprised if your first few trips to public spaces feel a little strange. Keep wearing a mask if that makes you feel more comfortable, especially around people outside of your household. And you can always start small with sidewalk seating at that restaurant you’ve been dying to visit.
- Schedule bucket list items.
Think back to the 2019 holidays. As you reflected on the year that was, you probably made a mental list of the things you wanted to do that you just hadn't gotten around to: vacations you'd put off, family members you'd meant to go visit, changes you'd hoped to make in your personal and professional life. 2020 was going to be the year that you stopped waiting for the right time and started doing things that were really important to you.
The pandemic has been a powerful reminder that sometimes "the right time" never comes. Life has a way of throwing up unexpected roadblocks between us and the things we dream of doing.
Some bucket list items might not be feasible this year, especially if you’re not comfortable flying yet. But somewhere on your list there’s something you can cross off in the near future: a city you’ve always wanted to visit, an activity that you’ve always wanted to try, a change in your fitness or diet you want to make. Enjoy the things you can enjoy right now. And make some concrete plans to take those big trips once you and the world are ready.
- Reassess your retirement budget.
While it may feel like a lot has happened in the last year, a lot hasn’t happened as well. You probably didn’t travel very much. You probably didn’t spend as much on entertainment. Your dining expenses might have dropped as you spent more time at home working through that shelf full of cookbooks. Perhaps your household is sitting on a minor budget surplus. Or perhaps you or your spouse had to quit a part-time job that gave your nest egg a little extra padding.
Based on your adjusted cash flow, are you still getting the best life possible with the money you have?
Let’s schedule a virtual or in-person meeting so that we can talk about how the pandemic affected your retirement goals and how your financial plan can help you start achieving them again.