Your Retirement Bucketlist

Your Retirement Bucketlist

One of my favorite Les Brown quotes is “The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream.”

When I was 16, I wrote my eulogy. Maybe that’s a little too dark for you but, hey, I was a kid and someone told me to do it. However, I realized the point really quickly that when you are born and when you die are outside of your control. It is truly above your pay grade how long your presence will bless earth. Only the Lord will choose those dates. However, we have free will to make the most out of our life. Therefore, we must use our time wisely and…starting with the end in mind is a very good way.

Before you pass on, you should have a checklist to inspire you to action in your retirement. My first consultation with retirees and soon-to-be retirees always begins with a look at their bucket list. I have been shocked over the past decade to learn how few people know what they won’t do when they retire. It saddens me to think people have slapped the morning clock for thirty years to get ready for work, because everyone else does it. They toil and save for thirty years or more waiting for the day they cross the finish line only to discover they don’t know what the reward at the end looks like.

Happiness is not an accident. If it’s something you just fall into, then it’s easy to fall out of, too. Stephen Covey once said in his famous book, The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People: “We must start with the end in mind.” This is so true for your retirement.

The following should be the basic components of a bucket list:

  • Spiritual
  • Family
  • Health
  • Passions


Spiritual is a good place to start. You may not believe in anything but gravity, but everyone has something to give back. Only delusional people think they are self-made. Retirement is a perfect time to dedicate time to reading the Bible cover to cover if you desire, and spend time mentoring young individuals and praying for families in need. It’s a time to serve. If you are able-bodied or, even if you think you’re too frail, there is a charitable organization that would love to use your talents.

Consider these ideas for your Spiritual Bucket List:

  • Take Mission Trips
  • Vacation to the Holy Land
  • Engage in a 52-week Bible reading plan
  • Volunteer at local charities
  • Get more involved at your church


During their working career, couples consistently spend 10 hours every day, at and going to and from work, away from their spouse for more than 30 years. Retirement is a time to look across the dinner table and be intentional about reconnecting with your spouse. With all the new extra time in retirement, you can begin courting one another and fall deeper in love again during your next chapter together. If you are single, perhaps you have family that would love to help you stay busy by spending time with their children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Retirement is a great time to invest back into the next generation of your family.

Consider these ideas for your Family Bucket List:

  • Organize a family reunion
  • Renew your vows
  • Take a “Retirementmoon”, a celebratory trip to commemorate your career achievements  
  • Schedule a trip to Disney or a Disney Cruise (with your grandchildren or experience it for the first time without children)
  • Take a child in your life to all the great baseball parks in the US


At work, when you are busy on the hamster wheel, there is less time for actual exercise. Retiring is an ideal opportunity to buy new walking shoes and renew your gym membership. I am not telling you anything you don’t know, but America is overweight and out of shape2, which can lead to illnesses, injury, and an early death. If you want a long and healthy retirement, it will take some investment in your daily routine.

Consider these ideas for your Health Bucket List:

  • Schedule a visit with a dietician 
  • Start or renew your gym membership
  • Hire a trainer
  • Begin a new sport, like pickleball
  • Make it a goal to drink (8) 8 oz glasses of water every day

Join a walking, jogging, biking or swimming club


You have worked your whole life for this. When retirees retire, it is crucial to make a list of new and existing passions to pursue. Maybe you are a homebody and want to read more. Also consider crochet, woodworking, or gardening. Perhaps you want to be a little more adventurous, such as boating, skiing, traveling, and attending more cultural events. Either way, work with your financial advisor to create an annual passion budget within your retirement income plan so you know just how much you can spend on hobbies.

Consider these ideas for your Passion Bucket List:

  • Visit all the National Parks
  • Build a wood working shop
  • Visit Groupon Travel & Travel agency websites that specialize in Air Inclusive travel plans. They can create an international travel itinerary and manage all the particulars for you.
  •  Make a list of 25 books to read

What you do in retirement is entirely up to you – but make a bucket list. Give yourself the freedom to dream a little and brainstorm everything you have ever wanted to do. Do not worry about the financial obligation of the list until you have created it. After reviewing your retirement income plan, you may have to come back to reality; however, often many clients of mine don’t dream big enough. I tell every family, if you don’t start spending your money – traveling and flying to wherever you want to go – someone else could be flying first class with your money. Your free time in retirement is a precious gift; enjoy life while you can. – 2 Investment advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through Swan Capital. Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values. This content is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as the basis for financial decisions. Swan Capital has a strategic partnership with tax professionals and attorneys who can provide tax and/or legal advice.

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