December 11, 2009

What Do You Want to be When You Retire?

Goodness, I barely know what I want to be when I grow up or even tomorrow much less what I want to be when I retire. It is this question that seems to be the root of the migraine I usually get after visiting my financial advisor. Thankfully, I prepared myself for this meeting with a pep talk "stay calm and breath" and I have not yet had onset of a headache. However, I did post-medicate myself with fish tacos.

My financial advisor is a lovely woman with whom I meet two to three times a year. She helps me figure out my income, expenses and financial goals for the year. But of course she is basing that on a long-term goal of where I want to be when I'm 67. She asks, "how much medical support will you need at 67? How much travel will you be doing? Where will you live? What will you do with your time? How much spending money will you need? When do you see yourself being unable to travel - 85?" All these questions seem impossible for me to grasp when these are the very same questions I ask myself every day about tomorrow.

When I'm 67 I imagine my life will look very much as it does now. Lots of cool projects, never the same day twice, exciting travel, and endless learning. How do I plan for that financially? I suppose I can keep doing what I do now - living simply and making the most of every opportunity.