The Importance of Evaluating “Major” Purchases

We all dream of retiring one day, though we may have different ideas of what that looks like. Maybe it is escaping to sunny Florida from the colder north! Perhaps you wish to move where you can view the beautiful mountains of Colorado. 

As you head into retirement, it is essential to consider regular monthly living costs and evaluate “major” purchases that you may want to make along the way. 

Many pre-retirees dream of owning a vacation home for family trips, buying a boat, or putting the vintage car they’ve always wanted to work on in the driveway. 

As exciting as these dreams may be, you want to ensure you weigh the positive impacts on your lifestyle with the adverse effects on long-term financial goals such as financial wellness and longevity. 

Built-In Bucket List

Can you have your cake and eat it too? 

Sometimes, yes!

You can build larger “bucket list” dream purchases into your budget ahead of time. 

This way, you know exactly where your money is going and can be confident in your purchases. Part of that confidence comes from understanding the potential trade-offs involved in your spending. For example, owning a boat or vacation home may mean less freedom to travel to other locations and vacation throughout retirement.

Investments vs. Opportunities

It is wise to avoid framing major purchases as “investments.” Instead, view these opportunities solely as a way to enjoy this season of life.  

You may ask, “Couldn’t properties I may own or purchase be considered investments?” 

Real estate can be an exception to this viewpoint, but there is still a risk that a buyer may not get a good return if they sell quickly, or if the real estate market has an unexpected downturn.  

Play the long game and plan for longevity with each of your “bucket list” or “major” lifestyle purchases. For example, looking closer at buying real estate as a vacation home, talk to your kids about keeping a house in the family, gauge interest, and understand how their needs/wants impact your legacy.

Make no mistake; we think you should certainly enjoy yourself during this new chapter! We know that if you build space for these purchases into your budget early on, you have the potential to reap the benefits and joy later! 

Have questions? We’re here to help! Contact us today by clicking here.


Wood Smith Advisors, a woman-owned Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), is a fee-only financial services firm that partners with its clients to simplify their financial lives. We focus on women, entrepreneurs, and individuals with complex financial situations, providing objective and competent advice, education, and services to help them develop and build their businesses and reach their financial goals. We can be reached by clicking here.

"Finance Made Simple" blog posts are intended for educational purposes and not for specific advice. Each person’s situation is different. Consult your financial advisor for advice relating to topics discussed.

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