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Retirement Diaries: Diane Says Start Your Planning Early

Retirement Snapshot

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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
  • Profession: Continuous Improvement-Finance and Engineering

For most of her career, Diane traveled extensively, so naturally, she fell in love with getting better acquainted with various regions in the United States and Europe and meeting people. Retirement has given her the opportunity to spend more time with her family and old friends, make new ones, enjoy her hobbies, and, of course, travel. We talked with Diane about her retirement.

Retirement Reality

Retirement Awaits: What does a day in retirement look like for you?

Diane: It varies. Some days are spent on the golf course, on my bike, or boating or kayaking on the lake. Other days involve household chores. I love to be active. Working out is part of my routine.

Your Retirement Plan

Retirement Awaits: Did you have a solid plan going into retirement?

Diane: A sound financial plan, yes, which provided opportunities for all the things we enjoy doing.

Best Part About Retirement

Retirement Awaits: What’s the best part about retirement?

Diane: The freedom and flexibility to participate in those things which bring us pleasure. Experiencing new adventures.

Challenges In Retirement

Retirement Awaits: What’s the biggest challenge in retirement?

Diane: Not feeling guilty about having a “do nothing” day. Not stressing too much about economic conditions since our wage-earning days are mostly in the past.

Travel In Retirement

Retirement Awaits: What’s your favorite vacation spot?

Diane: I have two! Lake Okoboji, Iowa — a beautiful lake region in northwest Iowa. I grew up in that area. We enjoy it because it’s just plain FUN. We go at least once per summer.

Also Europe. Germany and surrounding countries specifically. I lived there for 3 years and love to go back and explore the areas I wasn’t able to see when I lived there and enjoy those things I enjoyed 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, meet with your advisor on a regular basis, et cetera?

Diane: We have a financial advisor who we trust. It took us three or four changes in advisors to feel comfortable with our financial security. We do have a budget and meet with our advisor one or two times a year, in addition to phone consultations when we have questions.

Retirement Advice

Retirement Awaits: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give someone about to retire?

Diane: Start early to find an advisor who you trust with your financial future. Be clear about what you can and cannot afford once retired. Set goals, keep a checklist, et cetera to ensure you can retire without financial stress.

Things I Wish I Would Have Known

Retirement Awaits: What are a few things you wish someone would have told you about retirement/this season of life/transition?

Diane: I wish we would have started our financial planning with an expert sooner.

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