Planning Your Future in Time Segments

Long-term Planning in Time Segments

If you are planning for a lifestyle change or full retirement, these are the key issues you will confront as you move ahead in your life.  Taking a look at these issues now and being proactive about them will help you move smoothly through the decades ahead.

Ten-year Segments

It may be helpful to begin to think of your life in 10-year segments.  For instance, if you are currently 58, think about what you want to do from now until you are 68.  Then project yourself into the next decade and think about what you might want to be doing between ages 68-78.  Then between 78-88.  The last segment being 88+.  It’s true, you might not live that long, but what if you do?

Answer the following questions about each decade or chunk:


1st segment dates

__/__/__  to   __/__/__

2nd segment dates

__/__/__  to   __/__/__

3rd segment dates

__/__/__  to   __/__/__

1.       How much income will you need?   
2.       Where will it come from?   
3.       What will you be involved in and how will you derive meaning and purpose in your life?   
4.       Who will you spend time with?   
5.       Where and with whom will you live?   
6.       How will you pay for health care and other emergent physical care needs?   
7.       How will you transport yourself from one place to another (car, public transportation, other)?   
8.       Who can you depend upon to be an advocate and companion for you, should you have an accident or a lingering illness?   

These are all VERY important considerations as we move through the years.  Some of them may be easy to answer for the first 10-year block, and no doubt they will get a little more difficult as you project into the future, where there are more unknowns.  No one has a crystal ball, so all we can do is make some educated guesses about our future circumstances, based on where we are today.

To Change or Not to Change – An Important Question

As a rule, past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior.  And that is certainly true if you don’t actively seek to make changes in your behavior patterns.  If you have been an open and outgoing person all your life, you will almost assuredly continue to make friends – in whatever environment you find yourself.  However, if you have limited your friendships to the work environment, let your spouse do all the social planning, or only responded to a few invitations from others, rarely reciprocating these overtures, you may want to take a look at beefing up your social skills.  Loneliness in your later life will be a certainty without the ability to form and maintain new relationships.  Socializing is a learnable skill and practice will make you good at it.  Start now!

By Dr. Sara Zeff Geber, Ph.D., CRC

Read more from Sara by purchasing her book : Essential Retirement Planning for Solo Agers.  

Sara Zeff Geber, Ph.D., CRD, a preeminent retirement and aging expert offers a revolutionary guide to second and even third acts for aging generations that are single, divorced, childless or who live a long distance from family.

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