Setting Goals After Retirement - Adviser Investments

Setting Goals After Retirement

Ah…retirement, the ultimate freedom.

You wake when you want and do what you want every day; no more work deadlines, early meetings or traffic jams. The concept of having no set routine during retirement is appealing.

Or is it?

According to Dr. Riley Moynes, “squeezing all the juice out of retirement” requires psychological preparation.

During his informative TEDx Talk, Moynes describes four emotional phases of retirement, including phase one: The vacation.

It’s the period most retirees look forward to—doing whatever you want! However, Moynes says it lasts for roughly one year and then starts to lose its luster.

Retirees start asking themselves, “Is this all there is to retirement?”

Setting Goals After Retirement

(Use our goal-setting chart at the end of this post to get started with your retirement goals.)

To prepare mentally for retirement and, therefore, ultimately enjoy the time for yourself you’ve earned, it’s critical to set achievable and manageable goals.

Tip: If you’re still saving for retirement, be sure to check out our Midyear Review: Are You on Track to Reach Your Financial Planning Goals?

Start by asking yourself these two key questions:

QUESTION #1: How Will I Replace My Work?

If you’ve worked most of your adult life, what will you backfill your time with once you’re retired—if work made up most of your life’s meaning, how will you replace that during retirement? How will you replace your work life’s familiarity and structure?

Consider these four categories when planning your retirement goals, backfilling time and creating meaning:


Being involved and volunteering within your community may help you accomplish several of your retirement goals while improving your overall well-being.

A study published by Elsevier examines the benefits of volunteering to the health and satisfaction of volunteers, both validating and refuting findings from previous research. The results verify that adults over 50 who volunteer for at least 100 hours a year (about two hours per week) have a substantially reduced risk of mortality and developing physical limitations, higher levels of subsequent physical activity, and improved sense of well-being later on compared to individuals who do not volunteer.

Tip: Impact the world while reducing your taxes, read our post, Advanced Charitable Giving Strategies.


According to the Better Health Channel, about half of the physical decline associated with aging may be due to a lack of physical activity. Without regular exercise, people over the age of 50 years can experience a range of health problems, including reduced muscle mass, coordination and balance, joint flexibility and mobility, and more.

Ultimately, setting weekly health and fitness goals is key to maintaining good health during retirement.

Whether it’s walking 10,000 steps a day, swimming a mile several days per week or something else you enjoy doing, maintaining your health should be a key retirement goal.

Even one simple change in activity can make a big impact on your health. In fact, according to the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study, adults who were more active had lower overall mortality by replacing an hour of sitting with exercise.

Be sure to change up your activities too.

According to two personal trainers, “Adding variety to your workout routine not only avoids boredom in order to keep you motivated, but it also encourages your body to keep changing, progressing, and adapting. When your body is forced to work harder to keep up with these changes, it can’t plateau.”

Tip: Keep up on the latest trends impacting Medicare, Medicare Advantage and early retirement health care options, visit our health care information portal.


Perhaps you already have a hobby—great! You’ll definitely have more time for it during retirement.  

However, not everyone has hobbies, usually due to lack of time caused by family and work restraints. Well, they’ll be plenty of time to try different activities during retirement.

What do you want to try? Also, ask yourself why you want to try the activity.

Understanding your thought process will help you make a stronger commitment and be more likely to accomplish your retirement goals.

Decide what activities you want to try and how often. Write it down, making a stronger commitment to yourself.

If you don’t like it, try something else. Dr. Moynes calls this the trial and error phase of retirement.

Here’s a short list of popular hobbies to pursue:

  • Birding
  • Cooking
  • Dancing
  • Drawing/Painting
  • Reading Club
  • Gardening
  • Geneology
  • Golfing
  • Hiking
  • Woodworking
  • Learning a New Language
  • Playing an Instrument
  • Photography
  • Sports: Martial Arts, Pickleball, Tai Chi, Tennis, Yoga, etc.
Golf is an example of a hobby you can enjoy in retirement. Golf player putting golf ball into hole.


Retirement creates time to build new relationships and for some, mend relationships.

For married couples, it can be a welcomed time, yet for some couples, too much time together may cause strain.

As you define your retirement relationship goals, keep the following in mind:

  • You may have more time, but the individuals you’re trying to deepen a relationship with may not. It’s important to factor in both sides of availability.
  • If you and your spouse have mostly worked for the past several decades, it’s important to ask about their expectations regarding spending time together when you’re both retired (and when one or both of you may need a break from the other).
  • If you’re not sure how or where to expand relationships, start with what’s familiar. For example, perhaps you spent your career as an engineer. Consider becoming active in Habitat for Humanity or another organization in need of your skills. New relationships await you.

QUESTION #2: What’s Your Legacy?

Beyond money, what legacy do you want to pass on, i.e., what characteristics and values do you want to be remembered for, and, specifically, guiding your loved ones once you’re no longer here?

Tip: Explore our comprehensive estate planning resources and our special report, 10 Essential Questions To Ask an Estate Planning Attorney.

Not to be morbid, but you may find it helpful to write your own obituary.


Because, it’ll help you focus on how you want to be remembered and actions needed to fulfill your goals. Writing your own obituary helps you back into and prioritize your retirement goals.  

Next Steps

To achieve retirement goals, plan ahead, write them down and measure them when appropriate. It’s also important that they’re realistic and manageable.

Use our simple chart below to get started.


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A Final Thought

It’s critical to evaluate your expectations vs. reality in retirement.

Therefore, if you’re retired or preparing to retire, and you’re pondering any of the following: health status, retirement timing, filing for Social Security, risk tolerance, lifestyle expectations or bequest desires, contact Adviser Investments anytime for assistance. We pride ourselves on being The Planner You Can Talk To.

Tax and legal information contained herein is general in nature, is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal or tax advice.  Personalized tax advice and tax return preparation is available through a separate, written engagement agreement with Adviser Investments Tax Solutions. We do not provide legal advice. Always consult a licensed attorney or tax professional regarding your specific legal or tax situation.

Our statements and opinions are subject to change without notice.  All investments carry risk of loss and there is no guarantee that investment objectives will be achieved.

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