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Long-term Planning in Time Segments

September 2010

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.

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?

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. 

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!