So, you are recently retired. Lots of free time and lots of disposable income, right? If you are like many recently retireds, then you are wondering who wound your daily clock a little tighter and where did all of that extra cash flow go.
And now family and friends are expecting you to host another wing-ding of a New Year's gathering?
Today, we are officially into the “between the years season,” with New Year’s Eve just a few days away. If you are newly retired, then perhaps you may have clung to your holiday traditions to this juncture with Thanksgiving, the Hanukah or Christmas. Perhaps you cannot get out of following through on your New Year’s traditions.
On the other hand, if you will be retiring in the coming year or years, then maybe this article is for you.
According to a recent article in the Chicago Tribune, titled “The Journey: Tips for recent retirees to stretch holiday budget,” the key is to find a balance between keeping some of the traditions and saying goodbye to those that no longer fit.
In fact, the first holiday after retirement can be a “golden opportunity” to set new expectations.
With new-found additional free time, retirees can offer dinners out or home-cooked meals, rather than spending money on expensive toys for the grown children. They can also write letters to their grandchildren filled with family stories or set spending limits on gifts that focus on creativity rather than on price.
It is a nice idea to also set up some new expectations.
The original article also advises speaking with, or perhaps coordinating with, the other set of grandparents on the presents for children and grandchildren. No sense creating a sort of unnecessary “the gift-giving arms race.”
But do not force sudden change all at once. If—and only if—you can afford to do so.
The original article notes that keeping holiday budgets the same in that first year of retirement can be comforting when you have been hit with a lot of other dramatic changes.
However, what must change, is the conversation.
With the family gathered, you can begin the discussion about your retirement in general, not just during the holidays. Think of it as an opportunity to say, “We're retired now, and there are some changes we want to tell you about.”
While you are at it, this may be a perfect time to talk about estate planning and to tell your children that you have a solid retirement plan ... and that they need not worry about you moving in with them!
Getting a plan together for your retirement is always a good idea and worthwhile. Talk with your estate planning attorney to help coordinate a sound strategy with your financial advisor.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri) and to download free tools to help you organize your estate, visit my estate planning website.
Reference: Chicago Tribune (December 8, 2014) “The Journey: Tips for recent retirees to stretch holiday budget”