Big dreams take money. What is your perfect, once-in-a-lifetime experience? Hot air balloons over the French Countryside? A voyage aboard the Orient Express? When you let yourself daydream, do you yearn for a journey to a faraway place in plush comfort?
Maybe it’s a big purchase – like investing in an RV or a vacation home. Do you crave an educational experience, like a master class with a great artist you admire? Perhaps you imagine bringing the whole family together for a memorable celebration?
Whatever your ultimate daydream might be, you can prepare for it now. A beautiful memory can last a lifetime, and by starting today, you might move that once-in-a-lifetime experience from your bucket list onto your calendar.
Research Your Options – Logistically and Financially
To bring a daydream to fruition, at some point, you’ll need to know where your expectations intersect with reality. Few things can ruin a sweet dream faster than financial surprises and stress. Prudent research can prevent you from being waylaid by unforeseen circumstances.
For example, let’s say you’d like to take your closest friends and loved ones on a private yacht cruise to the Caribbean. Where might you want to embark from? Depending on the time of year, a two-week yacht tour starting in New York City, touring the Caribbean, and ending in Ft. Lauderdale may cost about $10,000 per person. You would also need to factor in plane or train fare for each member of the party to get to New York and to get home from Florida. (1)
Doing your research can help you focus, but it can also be a chance to think bigger before you get practical. This is a chance to let your imagination wander. If you’re going to go big, you might as well look into what’s possible.
Plan Your Timing
Timing is about more than convenience. Other factors should come into your planning. For example:
- Is the off-season less expensive for your dream activity?
- Are there large expenses (like taxes) that coincide with your planning?
In the example of the Caribbean yacht trip, you’d probably have sunshine in mind, so make sure you’re planning around the best weather. Holidays that fall between Thanksgiving and New Year’s are a festive and celebrated time in a city like New York, or you could opt for summer when there are many outdoor events to enjoy.
Timing can help you enhance your dream experience, and if you get creative, it can save you some money as well!
Prepare for the Unexpected
Travel and health insurance can be wise to consider. Nobody wants to think about something unpleasant coming up, but it’s better to err on the idea of safety. The less you have to worry about, the more you can focus on enjoying your experience.
The “unexpected” might also be something positive you encounter during your experience. What if you suddenly decided you wanted to stay an extra week? If you’re enjoying yourself and you have the means, why not? Again, preparation is key, and setting aside a little extra “fun money” is one way to be ready to take advantage of an opportunity or indulge on a whim. While the scale of extravagance is different for everyone, it’s good to always have the ability to shift gears, no matter what opportunity or circumstance presents itself.
Who Can Help?
A “once-in-a-lifetime” experience is something worth doing well. While you make wise choices to help maintain your lifestyle through retirement, prepare for things like education and leaving a charitable legacy, your wealth is also to be enjoyed. It’s important to remember that money can be a means to something greater, and as they say, you can’t take it with you.
If you’ve never mentioned your once-in-a-lifetime “big dream” to your financial planner, you might consider doing so. Depending on what you have in mind, they can help you prepare for large expenditures and may have some resources to help make it even more achievable. With the funds securely in place and all of your bases covered, you’ll be able to focus on your amazing experience and not worry about anything else.
Whatever you’re dreaming up, don’t let anything hold you back. With some determination, preparation, and willingness to explore, you can manifest a lifelong dream into reality and enjoy beautiful memories for years to come.
Provided content is for overview and informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be relied upon as individualized tax, legal, fiduciary, or investment advice.