The Two Bucket Lists Every Senior Should Have

As you near retirement, you should reassess your goals, as these may have changed greatly since you first gave them consideration in your 40s and 50s. There’s much talk about creating a bucket list — hopes and dreams that you strive to accomplish in your lifetime, such as goals that will leave you with little regret or help make your most desired dreams realities. At Neptune Society, we know that two different types of bucket lists are equally important. One bucket list is for goals that bring you satisfaction and pleasure, while the other is for taking care of your final affairs so you can have peace of mind that your loved ones will be relieved of these burdens.

Close up of the bordered title of a last Will and Testament set on parchment paper with nib of fountain pen to the right.

Bucket List to Arrange Your Final Affairs

No one likes to discuss putting their final affairs in order, but what many don’t realize is that once you’ve taken care of this vital process, you can enjoy a sense of peace knowing that these important decisions have been taken care of in a manner that makes you most comfortable. You can then go on to enjoy your bucket list of adventures without feeling a sense of urgency or guilt about taking care of these unpleasant tasks. Putting your final affairs in order includes seeking legal advice and planning your final wishes.

Seeking Legal Advice

Making a will isn’t a difficult process, and many people do it online if their estates aren’t grand or complicated. Others seek the advice of an estate lawyer to draw up a will, designate an executor of the estate and to take care of other legal matters. The lawyer can also help you designate a power of attorney; this gives him or her the legal right to manage your financial affairs for you if you’re unable to do so, such as if you have a disabling illness. Also create a living will, which is sometimes known as advanced directives. It allows an individual to make health care decisions for you if you become terminally ill or are mentally incapable of making them yourself, as with Alzheimer’s disease. Be sure to name a guardian for your children and any grandchildren who are your responsibility. You may think this is unnecessary if you have adult children, but if a tragedy renders them incapable of caring for themselves, you can have peace of mind knowing that these arrangements are in place.

Plan Your Final Wishes

Visit a funeral provider to purchase a cemetery plot or speak with a cremation specialist to make plans for cremation. Picking out a coffin, your final resting place and planning the memorial service now will lift a huge burden from your loved ones’ shoulders once you pass on. Tell your children or the executor of your estate about your plans and show them where you keep this important paperwork. Professionals, such as those at Neptune Society, are experts in planning these types of arrangements. They’ll help you take care of these unfamiliar tasks with respect and integrity.

Machu Picchu at sunset when the sunlight makes everything golden-warm. Sunset at Machu Picchu, Peru. Mountain of Huayna Picchu rising above Incan ruins of Machu Picchu - Sacred Valley.

Bucket List of Adventures

Although it’s common to have travel plans, spending sprees and exotic adventures on your bucket list, it’s also time to think outside of the box. Consider things that you might regret if you were to die earlier than you thought. Has it always been a goal of yours to ensure that your children, grandchildren and other loved ones have a closer relationship? Plan a zany family reunion by going on an adventure together, such as a safari, a lengthy cruise or by simply orchestrating a large family gathering in a nearby park or zoo.

Your idea of a grand adventure may be to travel to foreign lands and enjoy other cultures, foods and activities, but you may also have a yearning to plan excursions that allow you to explore the local geography, such as in your home state. Many retirees consider planning these close-to-home adventures, yet always put them off thinking that they’ll have plenty of time later to bring them to fruition. Don’t spend your retirement only planning one grand holiday every year or so, such as a lengthy trip to Asia. Explore the world close to home while you’re awaiting the distant departure date, such as planing a hike and bird watching trips with friends who also love the great outdoors. You can also canoe down rivers, explore caves or camp in nearby state parks.

Giving of Yourself and Time

If you’ve always been generous in donating to local charities, but regret that you weren’t more hands-on in helping others, now is the time to help benefit your community. You can help build houses for the poor, serve food at homeless shelters or teach gardening skills to children’s groups. These activities enable you to reap the benefits of helping your fellow man outside the perimeter of your own neighborhood.

Don’t waste time in your golden years being stuck in a rut or procrastinating about putting your final affairs in order. Take care of these important financial matters now. Once you do this, you will feel a sense of freedom and can make the most of this glorious time in your life. Whether you spend your senior years volunteering, traveling, or discovering other passions, you may find that you wake up each morning feeling as if you are finally living! Another benefit is that volunteering your time or discovering a new zest for life by trying new adventures may actually prolong your years and result in better overall health.


The Neptune Society is the nation’s oldest and largest provider of affordable cremation services. Whether you have an immediate need or want to plan cremation services in advance, we are always available to assist you and your family.

Call 1-800-NEPTUNE (800-637-8863) today or contact us online to learn more.