Write a Summer Bucket List
Officially, summer starts on June 21st. But Memorial Day weekend festivities tend to kick off the season. They also remind us to make the most of the warm months ahead. If you don’t start planning soon, July 4th will be here and gone. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself shopping for new school supplies, wondering where your summer went.
Here’s a quick and easy four-step process to help you fill up your family’s bucket list and get a greater Return on Life this summer.
1. Plan ahead.
According to Bankrate, 63% of adults plan to take a vacation in 2023, a 2% increase from 2022. And while 80% of those travelers are changing their summer plans to cope with inflation, there’s still a high level of demand that could make airfare more expensive, hotels more crowded, and rental cars harder to come by.
Finding that sweet spot between what everyone in your family wants to do and what your annual travel budget will allow is going to take some extra forethought this year. The bigger the trip you want to take, the more important it’s going to be for you to zero in on some dates – and backup dates. You should also start doing some comparison shopping. You might even consider working with a travel agent who can navigate the complex logistics for you and take your call when, inevitably, a flight gets delayed, or a hotel is overbooked.
2. Include your kids in the discussion.
Grab a notepad, and your whole family, and start jotting down ideas to fill up your summer bucket list. Make sure everyone’s voice is heard. And if you have older kids who are working or participating in summer activities, try to be respectful of everyone’s schedule. The more inclusive you make this process, the more excited every member of your family will be to spend time together. Be on the lookout for any potential trips that could cross off multiple bucket list items. Your teens might be over theme parks, but they’ll be willing to tolerate a roller coaster or two with their younger siblings if you book a stay at a resort where they can also golf, play tennis, or just sleep by the pool.
3. Go out and stay in.
When we think about summer bucket list items, we often focus on enjoying the great outdoors. But when school’s out and working adults are cashing in their vacation days, it’s also a great time to tackle indoor activities your whole family will enjoy. Museums, theaters, and historical sites often program must-see events during the summer months. The pandemic also might have kept your family out of movie theaters for the past couple of summers. Consider finding a day to catch the latest blockbuster and grab dinner at a new restaurant.
4. Think big and make room for small.
Going to a family movie might not sound big enough to make your summer bucket list. But think about how impossible it can feel just to get your whole family together around the table for one meal every week!
Put those dream vacations, music festivals, and yoga retreats at the top of your summer bucket list. Give them priority in your vacation budget. You might even consider a “slow travel” stay in another state or country where you can immerse yourself in a new place for a few extra days, or weeks.
But keeping some smaller items on your bucket list can keep your family off the couch when you’re between big trips. All those things you’ve “been meaning to do,” from trying a new ice cream shop to having a neighborhood cookout, are much more likely to get done if they’re part of your summer plan.
And if you’d like to share your summer bucket list with us, we can help you tie warm weather adventures of all sizes into your life plan.
This Week’s Favorite Reads
This week’s articles address topics such as a document you should create to help your loved ones after you’re gone and the benefits associated with allowing silence during conversation.
Here are the links to this week’s articles as well as a brief description of each:
Do you have a document listing key contacts and how to reach them? This article discusses why you should have such a list as well as a summary of your bills, and where to find important documents. It should also include information that will help your loved ones access your accounts. You should review this document at least annually, too. If you take care of your family’s finances and other important matters, you should create your own “Mary Jean list.” It will make things much easier for your loved ones after you die.
When talking to others, does silence bother you or feel awkward? Silence during conversation felt awkward to me for a long time. But the life planning process that I am implementing for Apprise’s clients shows me the value of allowing silence. During training, our mentors constantly remind us of the value of the pause. Pausing – and silence – lead to better discussions. They give the other person the opportunity to think and express their ideas. You learn a lot more during conversations when you allow others the opportunity to speak without interruption. In short, as the article suggests, “… a long silence can be as good for others as it is for you.”
According to this article, retirement represents yet another way in which the thinking of men and women differ. It discusses how many men view retirement as a destination. They see the rest and leisure that retirement brings as a reward for decades of hard work. While women may include rest and leisure as part of their next life stage, they may not see it as the rest of their life. While the motherhood penalty may leave women less prepared financially for retirement than men, women are also likely to have a more robust social calendar in older age. Remember that the average woman is younger than her spouse. She’s also likely to live longer. This helps make retirement planning for women different from retirement planning for men, too.
When asked how long I plan to manage Apprise and work with clients, I respond that I plan to continue, “as long as my brain works.” I love what I do, so I don’t see a reason to stop any time soon. Today’s connected world allows us to work almost anywhere, too. This makes eating right and exercising important. This article suggests a connection between eating highly processed foods and anxiety, depression, and cognitive decline. We already know that eating these types of foods puts us at increased risk for diabetes, obesity, and even cancer. But the connection with brain health is newer. Scientists don’t yet know the reasons for this. Regardless of the science, this article strengthens the argument for avoiding highly processed foods.
You don’t know for sure which member of a couple will die first – for conventional couples, odds favor it being the man. Regardless, you should take steps to prepare in case your partner or spouse dies. This article provides a basic estate-planning checklist to help you get your paperwork in order. It starts with drawing up wills. If you already have one, you should make sure it’s still current and reflects your wishes. You also want to make a living will and assign a healthcare proxy. A healthcare proxy allows others to manage medical issues that arise if you’re alive but unable to make decisions. A living will addresses end-of-life decisions. To learn more about these and other important elements of estate plans, check the article.
On Thursday, June 15th at 1 pm, I will be giving a Facebook Live session – The Intersection of Life Financial and Life Planning: Achieving Your Dreams – hosted by Purse Strings. You can find more information at this link.
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Phil Weiss founded Apprise Wealth Management. He started his financial services career in 1987 working as a tax professional for Deloitte & Touche. For the past 25+ years, he has worked extensively in the areas of financial planning and investment management. Phil is both a CFA charterholder and a CPA.
Located just north of Baltimore, Apprise works with clients face-to-face locally and can also work virtually regardless of location.