As you already know, it has been a really odd year, and we are only halfway through at this point. We still have a presidential election, schools starting back, an unsure football season, Holidays to celebrate, and a Flu-season to go through. All of this might make us just want to stay in our houses and avoid the rest of the world. However, if you know me very well, I can’t stand to sit still or not have a vacation I’m organizing, so I haven’t stopped planning. Through my searches of places to visit, I came across an article in Kiplinger’s that was called “Find a Great Place to Retire”. So now I was sidetracked, and my financial planning side kicked in.
One of the things I noticed immediately was that these cities were predominantly in the South from places like Huntsville, AL to Pensacola, FL. But to my surprise, I saw Knoxville, TN on their list. This is a great accolade for the place that I like to call home. I guess sometimes you forget how good you have it in your own back yard. This article on Knoxville focused on the relatively low cost of living in the city, which helps make your nest egg go further, but it also outlined many of the low-cost activities just outside our door. It went on to point out that we are blessed with the Great Smoky Mountains filling our horizon, the abundance of lakes and streams that run though our communities, and access to a top educational institution like the University of Tennessee. So, you should be able to find an abundance of free or low-cost activities to fill your day and time you’ve never had while working and raising families.
As I progressed down this path of thinking, I remembered a conversation I just had with a new client who is approaching retirement. As usual, I got around to one of my favorite questions pretty quick: “What are you going to do in retirement?”. That matters more than you might initially think because retirement lifestyle is one of the most important keys to the age-old question of “do I have enough?”. His answer revolved a lot around the happiness of not working, but also the ability to take time and go hiking (a simple lifestyle).
I hope you find your happy place in retirement, but that process starts now. We all need to make sure we are taking care of the things we can do today to help ensure our futures look like we want them to.