1. Don’t make the decision to retire without knowing that you have the assets you need to fund the lifestyle you seek. This is one of the prime functions of your blueprint. It can help you determine if it is feasible to do what you want on what you have. Retiring too early, with inadequate financial resources may free you from a work situation you are anxious to leave, but often results in a more stressful experience from which you cannot extract yourself.
  2. Your retirement is not going to look like Mom and Dad’s retirement. Having realistic expectations is one of the key factors in enjoying a fulfilling experience. Have you (and more importantly, you and your spouse) defined your expectations for what you want out of retirement and have you shared them with each other? You need to think through the design you want for your own retirement and have a blueprint drafted to address that design. Your blueprint will help you to get the most out of your time and your assets going forward.
  3. Your retirement lifestyle may involve working, for any one of a number of reasons. This may not necessarily be where you worked up to the point of retirement and may not even be connected to what you did through your working years.
  4. Remember that carrying debt into retirement is very different from the approach our parents took, but it is not uncommon for Boomers. You are not going to “burn in hell” for retiring with a loan or mortgage. But you do need to realize that servicing any indebtedness in retirement is going to require a commitment from retirement cash flow and the assets that create that cash flow.
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