by Jill Ciccarelli Rapps, CFP®
Financial Advisor

My father always said that your “golden years” are between ages 50-80. This is when you are in good health, have gained wisdom and hopefully have gathered enough assets to support your lifestyle. It is an exciting time in your life. If you plan well, you will finally have the time to do everything you’ve always wanted: exploring the world through travel, spending time with your family, or discovering a new favorite hobby.

In order to bring your retirement dreams to fruition, you need to create a financial strategy that will support your desired lifestyle. By preparing and executing a strategy that reflects your wishes, you will likely find the golden years of your retirement to be a liberating and enjoyable experience.


In order to understand your income needs during retirement, it’s imperative to spend some time determining how you want your golden years to look. We take our clients through a special process of defining and clarifying what is most important to them by allowing them to brainstorm ideas on a blank canvas.

As an example, you may want to relocate to another climate, or move closer to your family. Do you envision yourself travelling and exploring exotic places around the world? Or would you rather just relax – maybe rebuild a classic car or learn how to paint? Your retirement goals serve as the framework for your savings plan, and will be instrumental in helping you to go confidently in the direction of your dreams.


The key to living to the fullest in your golden years is to start planning early. Understanding where you are today and where you want to be in your golden years; making necessary adjustments today can make all the difference tomorrow. When you are 3-5 years away from retirement, you should begin thinking about creative ways tocreate the income you will need and consider how best to reduce taxable income. As with everything that is worthwhile, this takes time. The more time you have to plan, the better!


When you imagine your retirement, you likely think about the early years – when you are in good health and medical complications don’t impede on your livelihood. Though our health tends to decline as we age, you shouldn’t hesitate to make plans well into your later years. In fact, the number one area that retirees tend to underprepare for is health care costs. Setting retirement goals that extend well into your 80s and 90s can inspire you to continue leading an active, purpose-driven lifestyle – which, in turn, often leads to increased longevity and life satisfaction.


The best way to enhance your retirement experience is through a partnership with a financial expert. Given all the complex variables that exist in today’s retirement landscape –inflation, rising insurance and health care costs, changing tax laws, potential fluctuations in your future income, and family dynamics –the need for expert financial advice is greater than ever before.


Retirement is the ideal time to re-evaluate your overall attitude towards money. Consider how your money can serve as a tool for achieving your highest values in life. By retirement age, you have probably collected all the physical possessions you need, and you likely have plenty of free time to pursue new endeavors in your life.

Based on that, you may find it to be advantageous to start thinking about money in terms of the experiences you can afford.

Whether you are saving for a grandchild’s college tuition or supporting a charitable cause that is close to your heart, a fundamental shift in how you view money can empower you to achieve these aspirations.

Through careful planning and consistent motivation, you will have a better opportunity to position yourself to meet all of your retirement goals. In the end, a solid financial plan and a winning team of financial professionals will serve as your GPS – guiding you towards happiness and personal fulfillment throughout your golden years.

Jill Ciccarelli Rapps, CFP®

Ciccarelli Advisory Services, Inc. is located at9601 Tamiami Trail North, Naples, FL (239.262.6577)

Jill Ciccarelli Rapps is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER®, a trained life coach and a partner of Ciccarelli Advisory Services, Inc., a family-focused wealth management firm in Florida and New York.

Investment advisory services offered through Ciccarelli Advisory Services, Inc., a registered investment adviser independent of FSC Securities Corporation. Securities and additional investment advisory services offered through FSC Securities Corporation, member FINRA/SIPC and a registered investment adviser.

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