Planning for the future + a Retirement Bucket List #GenworthUSA

old couple on bench on by tirussell

Retirement has always seemed like a distant future that my husband I shouldn’t be worried about. After all, we both feel young and have many plans for the life we’re trying to live right now. It’s funny how your perspective changes, the older you get. Now that we are approaching the age where mid-life sounds just about right to describe ourselves, retirement seems like a much closer reality than it ever has been before.

Like many people our age, I have dreams of how my husband and I will spend our elderly years. While I should probably consult with him to see if any of these dreams would be considered fun for him as well, for the most part, I think he would go along without complaint. When I was recently inspired to write about retirement planning, I thought what better way to start then with a retirement bucket list! Hey, a girl has got to have dreams!

Hen’s (Dream) Retirement Bucket List

Get away from it all.

If I were to retire tomorrow, the first thing I would want to do is unplug from everything and just get on the road. It’s kind of cliche that my dream is to travel for retirement, but when else is there the time to do so? It sounds like bliss to just travel the back roads for a week, a month or maybe even longer. I would grab my hubby, rent an RV and just live. I envision mountain views, breathtaking sunsets and out of the way Mom & Pop diners. Or, just relishing the peace of being parked in the quiet beauty of one of our national parks. Give me a stack of books, my camera and a map — we would be off and living the retirement dream.

Mountain road

mountain road on by arinas74

Turn a fantasy into reality.

I love Middle Earth and sometimes wish I could live there! Since that isn’t going to happen any time soon, the next best thing would be visiting a place that makes me feel like I’m in Tolkien’s world! If I could convince my husband to take a trip to Matamata, New Zealand, we could walk the streets of Hobbiton in The Shire. Or, at least the place where the scenes for The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit movies were filmed. We could even stop off at The Green Dragon Inn for a pint of Frogmorton Ginger Beer, Mmm.

Cozy Hole by Arbron, on Flickr

Cozy Hole by Arbron, on Flickr

Something for the Husband.

After torturing my husband with a Hobbit adventure, I should probably let him do something fun for his retirement as well. Both of us have a love of old castles and historic sites so a trip to Scotland would be an amazing adventure that we could enjoy together. I would love to take a Scottish Castle tour, there are so many beautiful old castles and structures to visit in the gorgeous countryside. My only fear is that we would never want to leave and come back home!

Eilean Donan, Scotland on by smark66

Eilean Donan, Scotland on by smark66

Revive an old Classic.

We try to visit at least one old car show each year. We both love seeing how people lovingly restore the old classics. Chargers, Model T’s, old station wagons — people really pour their heart and soul into reviving those hard to find automobiles. I have an old 1952 Studebaker that was my Dad’s. For as long as I can remember it sat out back of our house. It was one of several Dad had kept to fix “someday.” After Dad passed, I couldn’t bare to part with this one. He always said he wanted to fix it up and before he passed, my husband and dad started working on the car’s frame. It needs so much work that I don’t know if we’ll ever get her done but it would be a dream to be able to drive her around to some old car shows, all spruced up and in memory of my Dad! 

my old car

my old car by ahensnest

Coming Home Again.

In the end, what I want most out of retirement is the ability to settle down onto a tiny homestead somewhere near my family. I want chickens running around the yard, a tiny garden with fresh veggies, maybe a few fruit trees. On the front porch I’ll have a pair of rocking chairs with a great view, all surrounded by flower beds and grandchildren. That’s how I’d like to live out the golden years of our lives. Sounds like bliss to me!

road to Whistler on by cblhm

road to Whistler on by cblhm

Planning to make our retirement dreams come true

I look at my list and think to myself, “Girl, these are some ambitious retirement dreams!” How can we make these dreams come true? 

Along with the realization that we need to start planning for retirement comes the beginning of the worry about how will be able to afford our retirement. I notice the people around me, who I know and love, have not truly retired yet. My aunts and uncle, parents and older relatives all seem to be working along well into their retirement years. 

Will this be how my husband and I spend our retirement years as well?

Hopefully not. I know that in order to keep ourselves from having to work full time into our late 60’s and 70’s, we need to take action now. I recently read an article from CNN Money on Tips For Planning Your Retirement that started me thinking about what we can do now to prepare for our future. The article brought up many subjects that I hadn’t even thought of, such as budgeting for the medications we will most likely need as we age, possibly moving to a less expensive area when we retire to save money, and most importantly — setting realistic retirement goals. I may need to whittle down my retirement bucket list to one or two of my must-have dreams. Then, plan accordingly.

Using tools such as the Plan For Living Workbook from Genworth Financial may help my husband and I to more easily focus on our retirement planning path. There are sections in the workbook that touch on important retirement facts and information. I particularly found the sections on life expectancy and cost of long term care interesting. There are also several questions you may want to ask your financial professional about retirement.

The worksheet portion is very in-depth and will help individuals or couples plan for essential and discretionary expenses. I think this workbook is an easy to use free retirement planning resource that allows us to pinpoint our concerns and goals. All in all, I have learned that planning for retirement should start sooner rather than later, especially if I want to visit The Shire in my old age!

This retirement bucket list was inspired by Genworth through a Brandflential campaign. Please visit for more information on how you can plan for a better retirement. All thoughts and opinions are 100% genuine and my own.


About the Author

Henrietta Newman is a self-loving empty-nester into smudging, nature, yoga, fitness, healthy living, hunting, camping, hiking, tech, video games, gadgets, recipes, reviews and more.
With a love for the outdoors and visiting local attractions in and around NW PA and Lake Erie, you never know what you'll find in my nest! Subscribe to A Hen's Nest so you don't miss the fun!



  1. 1

    I want to call to the attention of baby boomers and anyone planning retirement or recently retired that emotional planning is important too. Going from a full time job to no job may seem ideal, but it is an enormous and difficult adjustment. Too many retired people end up feeling useless, with no purpose. Many suffer from episodic depression as a result, making what could be the best time of their lives, the worst time. Prepare yourself by finding a passion to pursue during retirement.Boyd Lemon-Author of \”Retirement: A Memoir and Guide\” (December 1, 2012); Eat, Walk, Write: An American Senior’s Year of Adventure in Paris and Tuscany (2011); and 5 other books. Information, reviews and excerpts:

    • 2

      You know, that is a very valid point, Boyd. My step-dad has found himself at a loss as to what to do with himself since retiring recently. With his declining health, he finds it hard to do so many of the things he would like to do. We’re hoping he can find a fun hobby to keep busy in between his therapy sessions.

  2. 3

    Good tips here. I don’t know much about our retirement planning because my hubby takes care of all that stuff. I trust that he’s doing a good job of it, though ;)

    • 4

      You’re a lucky girl then Robin! :) My hubby and I have talked a bit about it but really need to sit down and have an in depth conversation about what our plans are for retirement. It’s so hard to budget for things that seem so far in the future!

  3. 5

    I had my retirement in place and set. We lived in FL 18 yrs and I knew I was never going to leave. The fate intervened and i ended up in another state. My retirement was Florida only. I was vested, but no matter, there’s no way for me to add a thing to it unless I work for an FRS employer, which I don’t. Very scary, but nothing I could do. That leaves me offering the advice to make sure a retirement plan can move with you, you just never know.

  4. 7

    I would LOVE to live in a Hobbit house or that monstrous castle. Either works for me.

  5. 8

    Planning and organizing for your retirement can help you prepare for this time of your life. No matter how old you are, as soon as you begin to have a stable job, you must start (but don’t take it too much at a very young age, at least planting the seed earlier will yield crops at the right time) investing towards your future.

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