• Dick McEvoy

Self-Analysis for Your Truly Fulfilling Retirement

Updated: Apr 27, 2020

A truly fulfilling retirement must start with the realization that we all have our own unique definition of what can make our retirement most fulfilling.

This Self-Analysis for Your Truly Fulfilling Retirement exercise will guide you in developing that unique retirement plan that is specific to YOU!

This is meant to be a fun, and hopefully thought-provoking self-analysis of where you stand in your retirement planning. There are no right or wrong answers as each person’s definition of where they stand on the various attributes is based on whatever scale they use to define importance in their own life. There are no comparisons to others, or to some artificial norm. There are just each individual’s comparisons of where he/she stands versus where they would like to be.

Let me explain by examining how these three very different 65 year-old women define “Healthy Body”, and how they rate themselves against their own personal definitions.

Margaret defines her Healthy Body Attribute as staying within 20 pounds of her 40 year-old self, and being able to keep up with her 3 grandchildren ages 4 through 10.

Margaret rates herself as an 8 (on a scale of 1-10) on this definition, and she is quite pleased with herself on the Healthy Body attribute.

Debra defines her Healthy Body Attribute without a weight description, and, prefers to define her healthy body attribute as being able to run and finish a 10-K race.

Since Debra recently completed a 10-K race in 72 minutes (about 11&1/2 minutes per mile), she rates herself as a 10 on the Healthy Body attribute!

Susan has struggled with her weight since she had her third child 30 years ago and has gained 30 pounds over that 30 year-period. She is currently striving to lose 5 pounds and she also wants to walk 2 miles, three times per week.

Susan is down 3 pounds since she made these goals and she has walked twice in the past week, so she feels pretty good about what she is doing to be/stay Healthy. She gives herself a 6 rating and feels positive about going forward.

You can see from this example that everyone can define each attribute as the way they see that attribute fitting within their life today, and similarly, everyone can then rate themselves on their own scale, and can judge for themselves how they think they are doing on the important aspects of their unique life.

There are twelve attributes to rate yourself on in this Self-Analysis for Your Truly Fulfilling Retirement questionnaire and the idea is to stimulate your thinking, and hopefully help you to identify the 1-2 areas that you might concentrate your efforts on improving.

The 12 Attributes are:

Wealth & Security

1. Secure Your Current Financial Position – Getting down to basics as you watch your spending/budget, save for emergencies, manage your investment risk, and basically work to make sure you have adequate funds for everyday living.

How secure do you feel today, with the income you have coming in, and with the typical bills you have going out each month?

2. Enhance Your Future Financial Position – More specific planning for the future, as you make room for the unexpected, and you manage your investment risk so that you will never outlive your money.

How do you define your Financial position over the next 5-10 years?

3. Teach Your Children About Financial I.Q. – Making sure that your children (from late teens on) are as well-educated in financial planning matters as you wish you had been at their age.

Is there anything that you wish you knew (regarding Financial Planning for the future) that you would like your grown children to know?

Health & Fitness

4. Healthy Body – This can be very subjective as some Retirees are still running marathons while others are quite satisfied just being able to take a 1 mile walk without any problem And this attribute also includes things like controlling one’s blood-pressure, cholesterol, etc.

You want to be healthy enough to enjoy your retirement years!

What score do you give yourself against your own definition of Healthy Body?

5. Healthy Mind – It has been said that the organ that is most in need of our solid long-term investment is the brain! As such, our brains need healthy exercise and stimulation to keep them sharp. Managing stress, staying active, maintaining friendships and planning leisure activities are all ways to keep our brains healthy and sharp.

How do you rate the sharpness of your brain at this time of life?

Love & Relationships

6. Spouse/Partner – How would you rate your relationship with your most significant other? Are you both quite pleased/satisfied or is there something that you could do to improve the relationship?

7. Family – Similarly, how is your relationship with your children; your siblings; your grandchildren?

Does everyone know how you feel about them? (Have you told them lately?)

8. Friends – Are there Friends that you would like to be closer to again? Now is a great time to examine the relationships in your life and decide which ones you want to cultivate further.

How do you rate your extended Friends relationships?

9. Career – As most Readers are at or are nearing retirement, is there anything you can do now, or in the near future, to build further, or start a whole new career? Or are you actually quite pleased with the working career that you have had?

Growth & Personal Development

10. Mind Growth - Again with the thought that you want to be able to enjoy your retirement years, how well are you stimulating your mind with new goals and learnings? Are you reading consistently, learning a new language, doing crossword puzzles etc.? Is your mind open to new things?

Do you have new interests that you look forward to exploring?

11. Creative Spark What is it in your life that gets you most excited about, and what is it that you can’t wait to get to each new day? Is it your gardening; learning to cook a new meal/recipe for your loved ones; learning a new language; or exploring a new continent/land/or county … There are an unlimited number of things that you can get excited about … How are you doing in the “Find your creative spark” department?

12. Contribution/Giving Back   Just by the fact that you are reading this blog post you know you have been blessed in your life! There are many, many people who have so much less than you and the last piece to a truly fulfilling retirement is finding your best way to give back.

In what ways are you passing it forward? (This can take myriad forms.) How are you making this world a little bit better place for someone outside of your immediate family circle?

After you have given yourself a number from 1-10 on each of these 12 attributes you have already accomplished the first step is Assessing Your Truly Fulfilling Retirement.

You have defined what is most important to your retirement, and you have given yourself a satisfaction score against each of the various attributes. The example sited above shows that this individual scored below a 7 in only 2 of the 12 attributes and this individual is currently striving to find ways to reach out more to important friends, and he/she is striving to find more ways that they can “Give Back” to those who are less fortunate.

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