Find Your Retirement Personality Type – And Learn How It Affects Your Finances

Find Your Retirement Personality Type – And Learn How It Affects Your Finances

What’s the one thing you can’t wait to do when you retire? Typical answers include traveling, starting your own business, learning a new skill, spending as much time as possible with the grandkids or just simply sticking close home, relaxing, catching up on a fix-it list or golfing.

The beautiful thing about retirement is that it completely customizable! Retiring isn’t just about leaving the workplace; it’s about turning the page on a brand-new chapter of life – a chapter where you can do everything you couldn’t do when you were working.

While the possibilities are seemingly endless for how to spend your days in retirement, especially in beautiful Sonoma County, as a financial advisor in Santa Rosa, CA for many years, I’ve found that most retirees fall into one of 5 retirement personality types. And each has different considerations, and therefore effects, on retirement.

If you fall into one of the personality types described below, take note of special considerations you may need to address so you prepare appropriately. If you feel you don’t fit any of the common types we discuss below, reach out to our financial advisors in Santa Rosa, CA, so we can work out any unique issues that may arise.


What are your plans for retirement? Contact Montgomery Taylor Wealth Management and create a retirement plan that works for you.


The Tourist 

Nearly 70 percent of Americans plan on traveling in retirement, according to the TransAmerica Center for Retirement Studies. Whether you picture yourself jet-setting off to London or traveling the U.S. in an RV, make sure to account for extra costs that this type of lifestyle can produce.

Traveling can be expensive. The average American spends $11,077 a year on vacations in retirement (with the average person taking about five trips per year).

Unless you’re living in an RV or traveling 100 percent of the time, you’ll still need a place to call home. This means you’ll need to account for regular living expenses and travel expenses in retirement.

Financial Questions to Answer Before Retirement 

  • How many trips can you afford to take each year?
  • What type of traveling do you want to do (international, state-side, a mix of both)?
  • How long will each trip be (a week-long, month-long, half-a-year)?
  • What types of accommodations do you prefer (luxury hotels, RVs, camping)?
  • Who will travel with you (will it be just you or the entire family)?
  • Should you sell your home or downsize?
  • Who will keep up with maintenance on your home while you’re away?

The Worker

If you’re “The Worker,” you may not ever plan to fully retire. While you may plan to trade in your current 9-to-5 for something a bit more fun and relaxing, for some people, working is who they are.

If you were an accountant, for example, you may start consulting or teaching at your local community college. If you were a nurse, you may proctor medical exams or become a first-aid instructor. If you were in law enforcement, you may become a security guard at a local bank or hospital. If you had a high-stress position at work, you may want to get a job in a different field, like at a local winery.

While working in retirement can be a good thing – it can keep you engaged and allow you to save extra money – there are some financial implications to keep in mind. Read our recent blog post: Working After Retirement: 3 Ways to Do It and How It May Impact Your Benefits.

Financial Questions to Answer Before Retirement 

  • What type of job do you want to have in retirement (another full-time career, a part-time gig, your own business)?
  • What’s your reason for working in retirement (do you have to, or do you want to)?
  • If you’re working because you have to, how much money do you need to earn?
  • What would happen if your health prevented you from working in retirement? Would your current nest egg be enough to sustain you?
  • When do you plan on taking Social Security benefits? If it’s before your full retirement age, will working reduce your monthly benefits?
  • When will you start withdrawing from retirement accounts? How will these withdrawals impact your tax liability if you’re also earning an income?
  • How long do you plan on working before you retire for good?

The Learner

If you’ve always loved school, you may have a desire to continue your education in retirement. This can be a great way to learn new skills, keep your mind sharp and socialize with people who have similar interests. Many states offer free or discounted college classes for seniors.

Financial Questions to Answer Before Retirement 

  • Why do you want to continue learning in retirement?
  • What type of learning do you want to do (college courses, continuing education courses, certificate programs, etc.)?
  • How much will these courses cost? Are you eligible for any financial aid or discounts?
  • How do you prefer to take classes (online, in-person, at night, part-time)?
  • If you’re taking in-person classes, how far will you have to commute?
  • What will you do with this education once it’s complete (go back to work, start your own business, nothing)?
  • How much are you willing to spend per year on education?

realistic financial planning guideThe Homebody

After putting your nose to the grindstone for years on end, the only thing on your mind when it comes to retirement may be staying at home. And hey, there’s nothing wrong with that.

You may have projects you want to start on at home, such as a garden or a bathroom remodel. Or you may just want to spend your days catching up on sleep and visiting with friends any time you want.

Again, there’s nothing wrong with this, but it’s important to really think this plan through, because being at home can get old quickly, and retirees who have no one to spend their time with often experience loneliness, isolation and even depression. (How did you far during the COVID-quarantine?)

Financial Questions to Answer Before Retirement 

  • How will you stay engaged in retirement (will you join a book club, volunteer, walk the neighborhood every morning)?
  • How will you structure your days?
  • Are there any hobbies you plan on starting? If so, how much will these hobbies cost?
  • Do you plan on staying in your current house or will you downsize?

The Grandparent

If you have grandkids, you may yearn for the day when you can take them to the zoo in the middle of the day, play board games, go out for ice cream and create memories that will last a lifetime.

If this is at the top of your wish list in retirement, keep in mind that “spending time” with the grandkids means different things to different people. To one person, it may be doing arts and crafts at home. To others, it may be taking a cross-country trip to the Grand Canyon.

According to reports, 88 percent of Americans over age 50 say they’d provide financial support to their kids or grandkids if asked, but those same people also say they haven’t budgeted for this type of support.

Before you retire, take some time to think about what you’ll do with your grandkids — and how much those activities may cost.

Financial Questions to Answer Before Retirement 

  • How do you plan on spending time with family (will you take family trips, babysit for free, discover new hobbies together)?
  • How will you fund these activities?
  • How far away do you live from your grandkids? Will you be able to drive there or do you need to factor in airfare and hotels when you visit?
  • Do you want to support your grandkids financially in retirement? If so, how will you do this (pay for college, camp costs, graduation gifts, etc.)?
  • How will you set financial boundaries so you’re not giving more than your budget allows?

Are You Ready for Retirement?

Regardless of how you plan on spending your retirement days, at Montgomery Taylor Wealth Management, we want to make sure you’re happy – and have enough money to live out all your hopes and dreams.

After you’ve answered the questions outlined in the retirement type above that best fits you, contact our team to go over the results and find out if you’re on track to reach your goals.

At Montgomery Taylor Wealth Management, we’re passionate about helping you plan for your ideal retirement. Whether that involves traveling, working or going back to school in retirement, our financial advisors in Santa Rosa, CA want to help you make those dreams a reality. Schedule a complimentary consultation today to see if you’re on track to retire.

Montgomery Taylor Realistic Financial Planning