A manifesto is a declaration of an individual or group’s intentions and motivations. Most big life events involve some kind of manifesto — whether you call it that or not. Contracts, wedding vows, employment agreements are all declarations of your intent.
Retirement is actually an ideal time to write a manifesto. Retirement is your time — your time to be who you want to be. You may be hampered by finances, but your time and beliefs are your own and retirement is an ideal time to embody and promote your own ideals. In retirement, you are not defined by the work you do for money.
This is your time to be defined by you.
In retirement you are no longer defined by work or kids. Write a retirement manifesto so that you can define you.
However, writing your own manifesto — an expression of your own intentions, opinions, and vision — is much more powerful that a contract you sign. Have you ever written down your beliefs and goals just for your own betterment? Writing a manifesto can be a great way of thinking about what you want out of your life and a way of holding yourself accountable for being who you want to be.
Here are some sample ideas for your retirement manifesto:
Write Down What You Believe In
What do you truly believe in? This can be anything. You can address God, family, love. But, you might also think about more simple things you believe in; reading, cupcakes, smiling at strangers.
Write down one thing or write down 100 — it does not matter. Just document your beliefs.
Create a List of What You Want for the World
Is there anything that you want for the world? World peace? An end to starvation? Less poverty? More literacy?
In addition to documenting what you want, you can write down some ideas you have for making it happen. What would you do if you were King or Queen of the world?
Document What You Know to Be True
Throughout our lives, we learn lessons — big and small. Retirement is a wonderful time to document these lessons.
If you are stumped, think about:
- Things you always said to your children: Like, “life’s not fair” or “school is important.”
- Mantras that run in your head when you feel uncomfortable about something.
- Rational you have used for big life decisions.
What Would Your Bumper Sticker Say?
It can be fun to try to write your manifesto as a bumper sticker, an advertising tagline or a country music lyric. These things use humor or powerful images and very few words to document some really powerful ideas.
- Just Do It
- What if the hokey pokey really IS what it’s all about?
- No music no life.
- If you want a stable relationship, get a horse.
- Just Dance!
- Gone Fishing…
- God is my copilot.
- My dog is smarter than your honor student.
- The road goes on forever and the party never ends…
What Should You Do with Your Retirement Manifesto?
Ideally you share your retirement manifesto with friends and family. However, many of us are much too private to do something like that.
You do not need to broadcast these thoughts. In fact, many people write a personal manifesto and never share it with anyone. You might want to just refer to it occasionally yourself as a way to touch base with what is important to you.
Make Your Retirement Manifesto Part of Your Retirement Plan
Everyone should have a detailed financial plan for their retirement. Your financial plan might become stronger once you have written a retirement manifesto since you will have a clearer picture of what is important to you.
Luckily, NewRetirement makes it easy to create, improve and maintain a thorough retirement plan.
The NewRetirement Retirement Planner gives you fast answers about your retirement finances. You start by entering some basic information and then you get a detailed assessment. You can then rapidly assess different options. This tool was named a best retirement calculator by the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII), Forbes Magazine and many others.
Creating a written retirement plan is not done by everyone. However, the research suggests that people with a retirement plan are more confident, happier and successful in retirement.
For some people, it is the financial plan that is easier to do. Others might have an easier time creating their own retirement manifesto.
Doing both will probably give you a stronger and more secure retirement overall.
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