Retirement Planning Strategies February 2019

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A Year-End Adventure HOW I CLOSED OUT 2018

Over the years, I’ve been astonished by the stories our clients share. Many of them undertake truly incredible things after they’ve retired, and we’ve featured several of their stories in this newsletter. While everyone approaches their post-career life a little differently, I’ve noticed that one type of experience shows up again and again: travel. Whether skiing with the blind in Norway, riding motorcycles across the United States, or exploring Gaudi architecture in Barcelona, visiting a new place seems to be one of the most rewarding experiences you can have. Inspired by our wonderful clients, I decided to plan a trip of my own. I took the advice offered by so many travelers to go somewhere that would be special to me. In my case, it was a river cruise down the Danube through parts of Germany and Austria. It’s a part of the world I’ve always wanted to visit, and we decided to go in December to have the opportunity to experience the one-of-a-kind Christmas markets in that part of the world. Full disclosure: I’m a Christmas fanatic, so that was a major impetus for our trip. After securing passage on a Viking Cruise, we packed our bags and headed to Germany. The trip began in Nuremberg,

which is home to the world’s largest Christmas market. You’d think that would be a recipe for a great start, but I have to admit that it wasn’t. Like many events in the “biggest in the world” category, the market of Nuremberg was bloated, commercialized, and not all that magical. It was a bit dispiriting, but we didn’t let the disappointment affect our expectations for the rest of the trip.

with energy; it’s the birthplace of Mozart and the setting of “The Sound of Music.” The Christmas market was the best we encountered, with endless rows of sellers peddling wares you can’t find anywhere else. We returned to the ship that night with full bags and tired arms, but it was more than worth it. wine, and visited many culturally and historically important sites. In terms of timing our trip, we were incredibly lucky because we were the first guests in a long time to navigate the Danube without needing to transfer boats. We had been told that a transfer was going to be required, so it was a pleasant surprise to hear otherwise just days before we were due to embark. I don’t always get to travel as much as I’d like, but I’m hoping to make it more of a priority in 2019. I guess you could say I’ve gotten the bug — the same one that affects so many of our clients. But unlike the other bugs many of us get this time of year, this is one I hope will stay in my system for as long as possible. –Ann Vanderslice The trip wasn’t all about markets, though. We ate delicious food, drank awesome

Soon enough, we discovered what we’d been looking for. As we traveled into Austria, we encountered town after town — each more charming and festive than the last. All of a sudden, we were no longer in marquee tourist towns and finally had the chance to experience the authentic culture. Salzburg, in particular, filled me with joy and wonder. Salzburg pulses | 1

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