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How's the list in your bucket?

I treasure vivid memories of traveling and living in distinct regions of Canada, but I hardly traveled abroad until I found the time and budget for Costa Rica and then Portugal. That’s where it began for me – we’ve traveled east and west, north and south since then. Not however in the manner I first conceived when thinking of my bucket list!

I originally found a recipe for exciting and energetic new experiences. Each new issue of National Geographic expanded my possibilities of visiting wonderful parts of the world. With time and money, I felt we could “retire” every three months for a few weeks in the most amazing destinations. All good! Except I grew timid about free-falling into the world’s deepest cave, or swimming among great white sharks. With a modest start at rock-climbing and a wilderness canoe trip, I came to realize I’m no olympian. My 50+ physique wasn’t going to jump, climb, or sky dive to any new records.

As age keeps peaking at us from around the corner, we need to plan and enjoy life now. What if we can combine what brings us the most enjoyment today, with things we’ll continue to cherish as time goes on? Another key may be the people we’re with – family and friends – who can add immeasurably to life’s most important times.

Your bucket list can be as unique as a finger print.

Each of us would combine events and activities in our own way. This also means we can pick up and try new ideas from one another. I’m hoping to meet someone who will introduce me to a ceramics turntable – safer than lathing, simpler than bridge, a creative addition alongside hiking, cycling, gardening, fishing, theatre… whatever may already be on your calendar. There’s also a wide range of volunteers needed in Canada and abroad – to fit any personality and to engage your particular skills, beliefs, and interests.

A healthy bucket list needs both time and money. This marries two areas of my service, certified in both financial planning and retirement coaching. I’ve been known to emphasize that money must serve life! With time and practice, you can make that desire a reality. Money and time are the “currency” to enjoy the lifestyle you choose, whether you’re still working or now in your retirement years.

Many are afraid they have too little money to create and enjoy their life dreams.

It’s sad, because when we include government and pension benefits, home values, life insurance and other savings, and ponder your top three or five most important goals or experiences for life, we usually can find a way that you are going to be able to enjoy yourself. To share a client example, after selling their business, a couple was living frugally on $2 million fearing it wouldn’t last through their retirement, yet we could show a $40,000 annual travel budget in addition to their regular living expenses. Another couple had faced disability and a job change that hurt their savings, but when they gave me their desire to enjoy just one ocean cruise in their retirement, I found they could afford at least three such cruises.

When it comes time to reach into your bucket and pull out a dream, we want two things:

First, to know ahead of time, the money is secure to attain your dream. Second, put another dream into that bucket. People are living longer than ever, and this is for sure: Your bucket list is for living! Connecting your dreams with the time and money to achieve them, will absolutely give you the confidence to expand and enjoy life on your own terms.•

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Brian Weatherdon of Sovereign Wealth Management Inc., is a Certified Financial Advisor, retirement coach, and consultant on wealth and aging. 905-637-3500

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The information provided is general in nature, and should not be relied upon as a substitute for advice in any specific situation requiring appropriate legal, accounting, tax and other professional guidance. The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of the issuer of any financial products for which the author may act as a distributor. Any names and/or circumstances mentioned above are altered for confidentiality.

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