Financial basis

Retirement journals: Diane says to start your planning early

Overview of the retreat

Diane P with her husband

Photo credit: Diane P.

  • Location: Phoenix, Arizona (7 months/year) & Minneapolis, Minnesota (7 months/year)
  • Age: 72
  • Retired at: 70
  • Marital status: Married
  • Occupation: Continuous Improvement-Finance and Engineering

For most of her career, Diane has traveled a lot, so naturally she fell in love with getting to know the different parts of the United States and Europe better and meeting people. Retirement gave her the opportunity to spend more time with her family and old friends, to make new ones, to pursue her hobbies and, of course, to travel. We spoke with Diane about her retirement.

reality of retirement

Retirement awaits: What does a day at retirement look like to you?

Diana: It varies. Some days are spent on the golf course, on my bike, or in a boat or kayak on the lake. Other days involve household chores. I like to be active. Exercising is part of my routine.

Your pension plan

Retirement awaits: Did you have a solid plan for your retirement?

Diana: A solid financial plan, yes, that provided opportunities for all the things we love to do.

The best part of retirement

Retirement awaits: What’s the best part of retirement?

Diana: The freedom and flexibility to participate in those things that give us pleasure. Live new adventures.

Retirement Challenges

Retirement awaits: What is the biggest challenge in retirement?

Diana: Don’t feel guilty for having a “do nothing” day. Not to overemphasize economic conditions since our salary days are mostly in the past.

Travel in retirement

Retirement awaits: What is your favorite vacation spot?

Diana: I have two! Lake Okoboji, Iowa – a beautiful region of lakes in northwest Iowa. I grew up in this neighborhood. We enjoy it because it’s just plain FUN. We go there at least once a summer.

Europe too. Germany and neighboring countries in particular. I lived there for 3 years and love to go back and explore the areas I didn’t get to see when I lived there and enjoy those things I loved years ago.

cost of retirement

Retirement awaits: We want people to understand how much retirement really costs. How do you manage your money now? Do you have a budget, do you meet regularly with your advisor, etc.?

Diana: We have a financial advisor we trust. It took three or four advisor changes for us to feel comfortable with our financial security. We have a budget and meet with our advisor once or twice a year, in addition to telephone consultations when we have questions.

Retirement advice

Retirement awaits: What is the best advice you would give to someone about to retire?

Diana: Start early to find an advisor you trust for your financial future. Be clear about what you can and cannot afford in retirement. Set goals, keep a checklist, etc. to ensure you can retire without financial stress.

Things that I wish I had known

Retirement awaits: What are the things you wish someone had told you about retirement/this season of life/transition?

Diana: I wish we had started our financial planning with an expert sooner.

To learn more about retirement, see: