40 Dream Retirements That Are Anything But Traditional

By Ellevest Team

For women, saving for retirement has never been an easy or linear thing. It’s a big part of why Ellevest exists — to help women invest for their futures, not the ones predicted on data from the lives of men. We want everyone to be able to plan for the long, fulfilling lives they deserve.

But our relationship to the concept of retirement is changing at a cultural level, too. These days, while plenty of women certainly wouldn’t sneeze at a traditional, stop-working-at-65 retirement, plenty more just … don’t want that kind of life. (Psst: Here are some tips if you’re more of the latter.) That’s what we learned when we asked our Instagram community a simple question: “What does your dream retirement look like?” (Also learned: A lot of you see visions of dairy products in your future. 🍦)

Here’s hoping these answers can inspire and get you dreaming of your own dream retirement.*

Starting a new chapter

  • “It’ll be a gradual process. Moving to part-time by 45 so I can spend more time on what I value more.”

  • “I’m working — because I want to, not because I have to — and with flexible hours so I can travel. I’m healthy and happy.”

  • “Getting a PhD without the worry of academic jobs hanging over my head.”

  • “I’d own a hybrid yoga studio and occult shop.”

  • “I’ve thought about being a UX consultant, and having a non-profit to mentor young women in tech.”

  • “I will be a yoga instructor, a painter, and an investor.”

  • “Finally owning and operating my own restaurant. 😋”

  • “Freedom of time, passive income, sharing my passions and experience serving on boards.”

Getting away — far away

  • “Living in Italy with the husband.”

  • “Eating lots of cheese, visiting grandkids and friends, living in the Azores.”

  • “Traveling the world, eating ice cream, volunteering, and dogs.”

  • “House in the mountains, with four trips a year, anywhere I want, without having to think about it.”

  • “Retiring abroad. I’m currently exploring areas and potential tax implications to prepare for it.”

  • “I’m hoping to ‘retire’ early in Portugal before I turn 50.”

Dreaming of green

  • “Immersed in nature, self-care activities to my heart’s content, educating the next generation.”

  • “Small home, big garden, cats, eating well, sewing, and other homey hobbies.”

  • “Witch life for me! House in the woods, big garden, weaving and reading and cooking all day.”

  • “Scuba-diving every day, while contributing to ocean conservation.”

  • “Spend the summers on the beach, winters in the mountains — skiing as long as I can!”

  • “Retiring in my mid-40s, hopefully owning a ranch with a huge garden and animals! Living a simple life.”

Livin’ large …

  • “A brownstone in NYC, a country house upstate with horses, and lots of travel and family.”

  • “My husband and I want a property on the water where we can have horses and a boat. 💕”

  • “Net zero 🏡, hiking, painting, traveling, eating and sex — in luxury, preferably.”

  • “Building and designing my home from the ground up. Or buying a beach house in CA. 😍”

… Or keeping it simple

  • “Slow mornings.”

  • “Not staring at a computer screen. Getting to read books and paint.”

  • “Retirement = full choice for me. I’ll be enjoying setting my own agenda and changing it at will!”

  • “I’ll probably move to my parents’ hometown — it may be cheaper to live there.”

  • “Zero debt. Part-time work, maybe teaching? Gift-giving. Travel. Quality time with family and friends.”

  • “Paid-off home, no major worries, and museums daily.”

  • “Money to travel, home paid off, money left for my family after I’m gone.”

  • “All I want is for it to be financially safe for me to stop working when I need to.”

Hey, they’re classics for a reason

  • “Basically coastal grandma all day, every day.”

  • “I want enough money so I can live in a senior community, in my own apartment. It’s like an all-inclusive resort.”

  • “Taking art classes, volunteering, and trying a new cocktail recipe every day. 😉 🏝”

  • “100% walkable beach town, exercise every morning, read every day, good people and food.”

  • “Traveling, cooking, enjoying my hobbies, reading, and spending time in nature with friends and family.”

… But you can still go your own way

  • “Doing what I’m doing now: living on the road, full-time.”

  • “I told my husband today I want to be nomads, finding cheap adventures and hanging out with the kids.”

  • “I’m retiring as I go! Save and spend on those life experiences.”

Get started on your own dream retirement

Got your own dreams in mind? Brilliant. Now how, exactly, are you going to get from here to there? That’s the hard part, right? But don’t worry, we gotchu. Ellevest hosts a Planning For Your Dream Retirement workshop to help you visualize (and actually plan for!) that far-off (or not-so-far-off?) future — check here to see when the next one will happen. And just for Ellevest clients, we have a free 7-day email course that can help get you set up with a real path to retirement. Go get ’em, coastal grandmas.

FYI, these entries were sourced from and submitted by members of the Ellevest social community. Some responses have been lightly edited for clarity or length. Our (wonderful) compliance team says, "The entries may not represent an Ellevest client or an actual client’s experience with Ellevest. The information shown is not intended to be a representation, endorsement, or testimonial of Ellevest’s services, nor should it be construed as an endorsement by Ellevest."


© 2022 Ellevest, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

*Entries were submitted by members of the Ellevest social community and may not represent an Ellevest client or an actual client’s experience with Ellevest. Information shown is not intended to be a representation, endorsement or testimonial of Ellevest’s services, nor should it be construed as an endorsement by Ellevest.

The information provided does not take into account the specific objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any specific person.

The information provided should not be relied upon as investment advice or recommendations, does not constitute a solicitation to buy or sell securities and should not be considered specific legal, investment or tax advice. Investing entails risk, including the possible loss of principal, and there is no assurance that the investment will provide positive performance over any period of time.

As of 8/15/2022, Ellevest Membership fees can be found here. Other fees as described in Ellevest’s Wrap Fee Program Brochure and the Ellevest Membership Terms and Conditions Agreement will continue to apply.

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Ellevest helps women build and manage their wealth through goal-based investing, financial planning, and wealth management. Our mission is to get more money in the hands of women.