As financial planners, we spend a lot of time talking about your vision for retirement.

  • What would you do if you weren’t working?
  • How will you spend your time?

More often than not, the answer includes a dream trip or some amount of travel.

We love hearing about travel plans. Client trips have included European river cruises, an RV trip across America, and a surfing camp in Costa Rica. And if you like to take a big trip every year with your family (it doesn’t have to be related to retirement), it needs to be part of your financial plan.

For me personally, travel has not been high on our priority list these last years. Let’s face it, with three young kids, most of our trips involve visiting grandparents or driving to Orlando. Going to a work-related conference is generally a pleasant treat – I get adult conversation and a break from the kids, even if I barely leave the hotel.

But, as luck would have it, I am heading out on a “big” trip in less than a month. With no kids and not much work.

Although I am definitely NOT ready for retirement (GenXer here), I am going on a trip made for retirees!

The Details

I am going on a 12-night cruise of the Mediterranean with my mom and two of her friends. The ladies are widows in their 70s. I am so excited about my trip with the Golden Girls!

I did not plan this trip and my involvement is kind of last minute. (To make a long story short, their last companion cancelled, and the ticket was nonrefundable).

We are going to a few places I have been (Rome and Naples), but most of our time will be in places I haven’t (Sicily, Greece, Israel, Cyprus).

My mom’s friend (I hope to be mine by the end of the trip 😊) is a veteran cruiser and keeps a spreadsheet of all her research on excursions, restaurants and local weather. As a planner by nature, I have to say it’s amazing to basically show up and be handed an itinerary (and refreshing to have someone else in charge!)

Preparation

I have never been on a cruise and haven’t been to Europe in over 15 years. Although my last trip to Italy was with my then-boyfriend/now-husband, it’s been a while. I even had to renew my passport.

Although cruising was never part of my dream vacation, people who do it seem to love it. And it does sound convenient to visit all these different places without have to drag my bags around an airport or train station. Although I’ve spent some time thinking about my wardrobe (what does one wear?) and researching cruising (although the average cruise passenger is over 50, millennials are the fastest growing group), if you have any cruise tips please send them my way!

I am also trying to prepare everything on the home front.

Although my husband is the world’s most capable person and dad, I know I wouldn’t want to be single-parenting for weeks on end. My in-laws have graciously agreed to come visit while I am gone, to help out with the kids (and spend time with the son and grandchildren). I have never been away from the kids (or my husband) for this long and I am really going to miss them!

Our clients should be well taken care of – Liz, Nannette and Tracey can handle everything our clients may need. I also suspect I will check email once a day because that’s how I roll!

All the Feels

I have many mixed emotions about this trip. First, there’s the mom guilt. I am going on an awesome vacation without my family (and I am pretty excited about it). My sixth-grade son in particular would really love it. While he is studying ancient Rome and Greece in school, I will be walking on the actual ground he is reading about.

I also just really miss my Dad. My mom is turning 70 and is retired. My Dad died a few years ago, at age 66. My parents had talks and plans about the “big” trips they would do together in retirement, but he is gone and those trips never happened. It does make me glad that I am doing this with my mom (I said I was too busy when she asked me to come originally), and I think I will be even more encouraging to our clients to go out and make their own memories.

What’s on Your Bucket List?

Do you have a dream trip floating around in the back of your brain? When will you do it? How much will it cost? Let’s make a plan to make it happen!

Sara Stanich

Sara is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, and founder of Cultivating Wealth.

She lives in Montauk, NY with her husband, 3 kids and Labrador puppy.
Sara Stanich

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