Retirement can be an exciting, active time of your life. But if you’re going to get the full benefits from your retirement years — which could last two, or even three, decades — you’ll need to have a vision for what you want to do. And to transform this vision into reality, you’ll need to take a “holistic” approach — one that involves a financial strategy, clear communications with family members and an awareness of the challenges that may stand in your way.

To articulate and achieve your vision, ask yourself a series of questions, such as the following:

What do I want to do? When you retire, do you plan on traveling around the world? Purchasing a vacation home? Pursuing your hobbies? Or maybe you’re even thinking of opening a small business. Clearly, you have many options — and you’ll need to be aware that some choices are going to be more costly than others. If you can identify how you want to spend your retirement years and then put a “price tag” on your goal — or at least come up with a pretty good estimate of how much money you’ll need each year — you can then create an appropriate investment strategy. Such a strategy will include both your need for growth — during your pre-retirement and retirement years — and your need for income, especially during your retirement years. Your investment strategy will also need to be based on your risk tolerance, family situation and time horizon — how many years you have until your retirement.

What “roadblocks” might I encounter? As you work to achieve your retirement vision, you may well encounter some “roadblocks” along the way. One significant roadblock is the amount of health care expenses you might face during retirement