Test Drive Your Retirement Dream Before You Quit Working

by Hank

I have written several times about the importance of having a retirement dream. Mine used to be having a million dollars, a post office box, and a sailboat without a care in the world. That was when I was a teenager and did not know any better. Then, in college, my retirement dream transitioned to playing every golf course in South Carolina which isn’t a bad option now. But, there are a lot of courses throughout the state. Now, my wife and I have been toying with the idea of visiting all thirty Major League Baseball stadiums in a single summer.

Changing Dreams. It is okay to change your retirement dream throughout your lifetime. We all grow older and a little bit wiser, and our likes and ambitions change as well. The most important thing is to have a retirement dream. You need to have a goal to work towards. It is okay if it is a stretch goal that might be just out of your reach. You need goals and dreams like that. But, we also need a reason for all of this hard work saving, investing, and being frugal. It all has to be worth something in the end. There has to be a payoff. And, the payoff is your retirement dream.

Mini Retirements. Tim Ferriss discusses test driving mini retirements throughout your lifetime in his book, “The 4-Hour Workweek“. What if I had made it all the way to retirement to find out that I get seasick? That would be a heck of a time to find that out. That would be just my luck too. So, it is important to test drive your dream retirement. My wife and I recently returned from a weeklong vacation in Washington, DC. We went up to our nation’s capital to see the sights and to take in a Washington Nationals’ baseball game. After several days enjoying ourselves, my wife actually realized that if we drove just a few more hours north, then we could see our beloved Atlanta Braves play the Philadelphia Phillies. We had an idea to keep going to New York as well to see the take on the Mets!

Emergency Funds Enable You. We were lucky to have the luxury to be spontaneous. We have a fully funded emergency fund with three to six months of living expenses that protect us from overspending or unforeseen troubles. We budgeted for the vacation but were also able to expand it when the opportunity presented itself. Our emergency fund provided us with freedom. That is the beauty of having savings. We can act like our own credit card and lend ourselves money without having to rely on plastic and sink backwards in debt.

Test Drive Your Retirement. Did you know that you can rent an RV? Have you ever thought about spending your retirement traveling around the United States? That sounds pretty great to me. Larry and Connie Farquhar, who publish a series of travel guides about U.S. Military Campgrounds for military members and retirees, are doing just that, and they are chronicling their adventures on their blog, http://www.happy-wanderers.com. One great thing that I really like about their blog is that they share with their readers exactly how much their RV retirement lifestyle costs.

Thanks to Your Military Money for the heads up on about Larry and Connie.

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