If travel is in your retirement itinerary, be sure you’re planning for it financially.
whether you’re dreaming of cruising the Panama Canal, riding a train through the Canadian Rockies or visiting Victoria Falls in Zambia, it’s never too early to begin planning—and saving.
Failing to save money for travel is one of the number one reasons people are unable to travel to their dream locations.
According to a recent study by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, travel is a top retirement dream for baby boomers, Gen X’ers and millennials alike. But only 58 percent of individuals surveyed feel “very or somewhat confident” that their current financial strategy will enable them to achieve their goals.
“Something that is often overlooked is a travel budget,” says Regina Siegel, assistant vice president at Trust Point.
“People often consider categories such as restaurants, arts and entertainment, bills and regular activities as part of their annual budget, but many of the retired clients that I work with enjoy traveling regularly and it is important to include that in the budget as well.”
Siegel has helped her clients achieve their goals for travel in retirement. She says to start by making a list of your travel dreams. Do you want to visit out-of-state family every year, or are you looking at an extended getaway in another country? Is it a solo trip or will it involve your whole family? What is your mode of transportation and what are your plans for food and entertainment? Also important—do you have enough time set aside for volunteering and other activities that you enjoy on the trips you want to take?
Trust Point financial professionals will sit down with clients to go through all of this and put everything into practical figures. They will evaluate assets and resources to develop different investment strategies, making sure cash flow is available when it’s needed.
“We evaluate what they can afford, starting with the end in mind, what their dreams are and then help our clients reach them,” Siegel says. “If they’ve dreamed of going on an African safari that’s going to cost $40,000 or $50,000, then we set up a plan to ensure that they can get there in the timeframe that they’re looking at.”
Sometimes that means creating a fund that automatically sets money aside for travel. Other times, assets are reallocated or travel plans are tweaked. Siegel says seemingly unattainable trips are often possible with the right planning—and early saving.
She recently met with one couple that wanted to do some home remodeling, purchase a new car, and also wanted to take a trip across the world to New Zealand. She enlisted the assistance of Trust Point’s Financial Planning team in order to put together a presentation that summarized what impact these individual purchases would have on the couple’s long-term goals as well as the best timeline for making the purchases.
“We were able to make the process less stressful for them, spreading purchases out a bit so they feel much better about the whole process and are able to have an even nicer vacation as a result,” Siegel says.
Trust Point’s financial professionals will also work with entire families on multi-generational travel planning, as group vacations are popular in retirement, Siegel says. Regardless of whether you want to cruise the world, or road trip it to the in-laws’ home in Florida every year, you can do it with some guidance and if you save money for travel.
“When I know what your hopes and dreams are, it helps me work even harder for you,” Siegel says. “Because I want to attain them with you. I feel like I’m achieving a goal myself, and have personal satisfaction when I see a client who didn’t think they’d be able to make it work watch their dreams come to fruition.”
What’s your dream trip? Here are some ideas:
- Viking River Cruises – Enjoy a mix of active and cultural experiences along the Rhine or Danube Rivers without
having to pack and unpack your suitcase every day.
- Luxury Train Trips – Take a breathtaking train ride through the highlands of Scotland, the Andes in South America, the Canadian Rockies and other magnificent places.
- Photographic African Safaris – Watch zebras, gazelles and wildebeest migrate across the Serengeti and Masai Mara and other spectacular experiences.
- Insight Trips – Explore India, Africa, South America and other developing countries while supporting a nonprofit to create positive impact.