Open Forum-Matt Herndon– Ever since the 2008 movie starring Jack Nicolson and Morgan Freeman, “bucket list” has become a popular term for the list of life goals a person would like to achieve before they die. In other words, the things they’d like to do before “kicking the bucket.” Retirees and near-retirees are finding that developing a bucket or “life list” is helping them enjoy life’s third act and giving them inspiration to overcome fears, try new things or achieve life-long dreams.
Not everything on your bucket list has to be an exotic adventure. Health and financial goals are a priority on many lists; tending to those small details that you never had time for while you were working full time is important now that you’re retired or close to retirement. Bucket list items are meant to bring a deeper meaning and more enjoyment to life. Some simple but meaningful ideas include:
- Design and plant a garden
- Complete your estate planning and will or testament with the help of an estate planning attorney and a will and trust attorney
- Spend more time with family
- Write a book
- Read the classics
- Learn a new language
- Lose weight
- Take music lessons
- Learn to paint or sculpt
- Go back to school
- Take cooking classes
- Join a gym and get fit
- Learn a new craft or hobby like quilting or golf
- Volunteer for a favorite cause
- Audition for a role in a community theater
Facing fears and making life-long dreams come true are valuable additions to your bucket list because they remind you that just because you’re older and no longer working, it doesn’t mean you should quietly fade away. There’s still a lot of life to live! Many retirees include travel adventures on their bucket lists. Travel medical insurance for seniors makes it much easier to pick up and go wherever the wind – or your sense of adventure – blows you. Just make sure you consult with your estate planning attorney to discuss any worries you may have about your will before you go off on your final adventures.
Here’s a sampling of ambitious goals some seniors are including on their bucket lists:
- Sky dive
- Take a cruise through the Greek Islands
- Visit all 365 of America’s national parks
- Have a “Big Year” of bird watching
- Bungee jump
- Visit religious or historic monuments
- Meet a hero such as the Pope or past/current President of the United States
- Start a charitable foundation
- Buy a home and live in another country
- Travel the U.S. in an RV
Whether it’s two things or two hundred, the items on your bucket list should be more than just things that sound fun, they should be actions that challenge you and promise to add meaning to your life. Even simple goals like “clean out the attic” might force you to face some fears or help you feel less weighed down when it’s complete.
No matter what your physical or financial situation is, life is more enjoyable when you have goals and plans to look forward to. Call it a bucket list, a life list or a dream list – making one may give your golden years more purpose, helping to truly make them golden.
So, what’s on your bucket list? Better yet: what have you always dreamed of doing? It’s never too late to start accomplishing amazing things