Are You A Vagabond?

In Articles, Articles: Kansas City Office, Articles: Salt Lake City Office by Scott Dougan

There’s a term being used that began with the millennials: ‘lifestyle design.’

While there’s no single definition, it roughly translates to designing the work-life balance that is ideal for you. By being intentional about making work fit your lifestyle aspirations, and vice-versa, the outcome of lifestyle design is one where there’s a sense of balance achieved.

As an example, there’s a rising, but still quite small, group of people who practice a form of lifestyle design called ‘vagabonding.’ They essentially build a business or a vocation that allows them to live anywhere in the world while continuing to earn an income sufficient to continue the adventure. As you can imagine, the concept is very alluring to those new to the demands of a working career. Perhaps to the generation whose lives centered around a factory or 8-5 job for 40 years, this all sounds like absurdity.

When I read of lifestyle design, I can’t help but see the fact that while touted as the next killer app by the millennials – those who are typically in their late 20’s and early 30s – it’s the exact same thing you’re trying to do as you near the end of your 50’s and begin your 60’s. It’s called retirement planning!

Increasingly, I see vibrant 60-somethings retire from a decades-long career, and soon after, choose to work part-time again at a lower-stress job or as a volunteer. These are the same objectives of the lifestyle design camp: find a way to do things you love while keeping clothes on one’s back and a full belly. With this in mind, I dare to say that you aren’t so different after all, the boomers and the millennials. You – we – all want roughly the same thing. We want to work, and we want to play; neither is fully sufficient on its own.

Retirement planning, when done carefully and thoughtfully, is simply lifestyle design for grown-ups. Money, as an ingredient in retirement planning, is a means to a very specific end. Money allows you to do the things you’ve always longed to do, without worry that you’ll be required to go back to work.

In the spirit of lifestyle design, consider your response to this question:

If you were to describe the retirement of your dreams, in as much detail as possible, how would you describe it? Write out in vivid color what retirement looks like to you.

Your answer to this question is the very point of retirement planning, of lifestyle design. My job is to help you dream a bit and line up your financial matters in such a way that this dream comes true. Your role in the process is to dream in as much detail as possible and commit to carrying out that dream. Together, lifestyle design and retirement planning are a very noble end, money is simply the means. Maybe you don’t see yourself as a vagabond, but trying on the term for yourself may result in some meaningful retirement planning breakthroughs.

Investment Advisory Services offered through Elevated Capital Advisors, LLC. An SEC Registered Investment Advisor.

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