Retiring is usually a happy occasion and a time in life when you feel free and relaxed. Unless you feel guilty, that is. Many retirees don’t have an estate plan and live a fasted life upon retirement because they want to be sure to have something to leave as an inheritance to their loved ones or a charity. That really isn’t necessary because if you get professional help now, you can both enjoy your retirement and have a plan for when you are no longer here.

It is understandable to want to leave something behind that reflects your happiness in life, whether it be to your kids, grandchildren or a charity. However, being able to travel or buy a vacation home doesn’t need to be just a dream; it can happen. Giving yourself permission to enjoy your retirement is a gift you give yourself. Leaving something behind is a gift you give to others.

There are three ideas to think about when it comes to how you want to live in your golden years and what you want to leave behind. You can be free to enjoy the money you saved for retirement. You can leave a legacy. You can leave money behind in an efficient fashion. Assets are not always created equally and are not distributed evenly either. That is why an estate plan is so valuable. You can plan in advance what you want to see happen with your assets and can enjoy your retirement knowing you have done your best to leave your legacy.

You can structure the inheritance to be paid out in increments or make it a lump sum payment. Every estate plan is unique and is structured according to your wishes and desires. Can you imagine just enjoying your retirement without worrying about what happens when you aren’t there anymore?

If you need to put a plan in place, you may want to contact a legal professional who can assist you and answer all your questions.

Source: Forbes, “Giving yourself permission to spend and enjoy retirement” Rebekah Barsch, Oct. 22, 2014