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Planning for Retirement Isn’t Just About the Money

Planning for Retirement Isn’t Just About the Money

May 29, 2020

In my last blog post, I talked about a cause that I’m passionate about. Now, it’s time to talk about YOU and what you love to do.

Here’s the thing: Retirement isn’t just about the money. It’s also about what you’re going to do with the money. This means that at a certain point, you need to look ahead and think about how you want to spend your time.

Most people assume that retirement is a time that everyone looks forward to. The truth is that there is some fear surrounding it as well. That’s because when you’ve worked an 8 to 5 job for many years, it’s not only provided you with a built-in social life, it’s also given you a sense of purpose.

I’ve been through this myself. No, I’m not retired, but I am an empty nester, which is another major life transition. Well before my daughters left home, I joined a couple of mentoring groups that helped me “fill my cup.” These groups provided new friendships and gave me so much joy as I mentored high schoolers and helped young women in STEM careers navigate the corporate world. By thinking ahead, I was able to ease what could have been a very painful transition.

I know this can be an issue for any client who walks through our door. That’s why we don’t just look at your portfolio – we look at your life, your timeline, and your interests.

Here’s what I recommend.

  • Start looking at new interests at least 2-3 years prior to retirement.
  • Start with your natural interests, but then branch out a little.
  • As with anything new, start practicing and exploring, as time allows.
  • Take off a few days a month and start to explore a variety of interests.
  • As with any new endeavor, give this time and try activities a few times on different days and different scenarios.

Here are some areas you might consider:


Would you like to work with children at local schools or help adults learn how to read? Are you interested in mentoring kids in your field of expertise?

You have so much to offer by sharing your talents, wisdom and your life with others. Don’t discount the power of spending time with people, encouraging one another and sharing lives. This season of life can be very challenging on many levels; we all need one another. Let your guard down, be vulnerable, and jump in!

For those of you in my local area, Kern County Women in STEM, Independence High Energy Academy and East High Health Careers Academy are three examples of mentoring groups available in Bakersfield. These are part of the Kern Economic Development Corporation. I thoroughly enjoy the time I spend in these groups.

New Activities

Do you want to plug in to interests that you have put off until now, such as walking, hiking, cycling, bowling, painting, etc?

Do you like to travel, yet you are single and many of your friends don’t seem interested? Wanderlust is very contagious! There are many groups of all sizes and destinations which cater to traveling.


Are you an animal lover? The animal shelters, Humane Society, SPCA and many others, are always needing volunteers.

The key is to find activities and interests which you sincerely enjoy. Don’t just go through the motions and fill your days with meaningless activities.

How we can help.

There is a definite balancing act as you seek a fulfilling life outside of your career and workplace. Some people know their life will be filled with family, friends, and they don’t really want much more commitment during their retirement.

However, many people need to be more deliberate about seeking interests for a fulfilling lifestyle and personal satisfaction. When clients start talking about retirement, I spend time asking what this new normal will look like for them. If they look at me like a deer caught in headlights, I know this area needs to be developed and discussed.

My goal is for our clients is to build a fulfilling and fun retirement season; as with all new endeavors, this requires planning, focus, and time. Contact Charpentier Wealth Strategies and we’ll help you develop a plan!

Debbie Charpentier has been serving clients since 1989 by using a holistic, comprehensive approach that helps clients create the life they value and the legacy they envision. Charpentier Wealth Strategies is a Bakersfield, CA Financial Planning practice that offers fee-based financial planning services. To contact Debbie, email Debbie Charpentier is a registered representative offering securities and investment advisory services through Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp., (Member SIPC). Charpentier Wealth Strategies is not an affiliate of Lincoln Financial Advisors. CRN2906702-011420