The best part of planning for retirement is imagining yourself in your new lifestyle — Including having the freedom to travel.
By Rick Pendykoski
According to the 19th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey, two-thirds of American workers spend heavily on travel in their first year of retirement. Many plan to travel abroad, while others may want to retire overseas. (Take a look at this abroad retirement checklist to see if the expat life is financially right for you.)
But even if you come up short on that checklist, you can still travel affordably in retirement. The key is proper planning. Here is a seven-step guide to follow:
Set Your Goals & Make a Bucket List
Spend some time thinking about your retirement goals. Those who plan for retirement are more likely to find a happy retired life than those who don’t.
Get into as many details as possible, and list the how, what, where, who and why for your retirement trips. Think about the following:
Where would you like to go? Why?
What’s your budget?
How often would you like to travel?
Is there anyone who can look after your home while you are traveling?
Who will be your travel partner?
Discuss Your Travel Plans with Your Spouse
Your spouse may have very different ideas for retirement than you — including not wanting to travel at all! Discuss your retirement travel plans with your spouse at length.
If you both like to travel, talk about the places you want to visit and how many trips you’d like to take in a year.
Find New Places to Travel
Traveling is a way to escape the humdrum of regular life; use this opportunity to experience something new.
Instead of revisiting your favorite destinations, think of new exotic destinations that you have never seen. Explore new places of interest on the internet before deciding where to go.
Invest in Travel Insurance
Purchase a good travel insurance plan that fits your budget and covers as many contingencies as possible. Ensure coverage for medical emergencies, trip cancellations due to illness, and for any other trip delays.
Rent Your Home to Fund Retirement Travel
If you’re planning to travel for a good length of time, consider renting out your home as an Airbnb or to a stable tenant to supplement your travel funds.
Do your homework first, though, so your rental doesn’t cause more trouble than it’s worth.
Find Senior Discounts on Hotels and Transportation
Many hotels and some airlines, cruise lines, and trains offer discounts to senior citizens, which can cut your travel expenses by 10 or 20 percent.
In some cases, though, you may find better deals available through your credit card, travel company, or organization such as AARP or AAA. Be sure to check all available discounts before paying.
And don’t forget to ask about senior discounts at many attractions around the world — some starting at age 50.
Hit the Road
If you love road trips more than anything, consider investing in an RV, which offers more comfort, safety, and convenience than a campervan or simple car.
RVs can serve as both your transportation and your lodging, and you can eat some meals there as well — all of which can save you money and hassles over the long run, as long as you don’t succumb to buying more bells and whistles than you need.
Planning carefully for your retirement travels may be the best gift you give yourself for a lifetime of hard work — and one you can share with your family or friends as well.
Don’t fret about the things to do in retirement; instead — plan ahead.
Rick Pendykoski is the owner of Self Directed Retirement Plans LLC, a retirement planning firm based in Goodyear, Arizona. He regularly writes for his own blog of Self Directed Retirement Plans and as a guest blogger for many sites in the niche of finance. If you need help and guidance with traditional or alternative investments, email him at email@example.com or visit www.sdretirementplans.com.
Top Image: Mt. Cook rises above a tranquil lake in New Zealand. Photo by Clark Norton