Finding Gratitude This Thanksgiving Season

Finding Gratitude This Thanksgiving Season

by Pinnacle Family Advisors

By Michael Vaughn, CFP®

When I reflect on what I’m grateful for this holiday season, I think back to when I made the decision to change careers. I left a good-paying job for the unknown, but what I did know was I wanted to stay near family and friends and I wanted to help others.

This Thanksgiving, let’s take a look at all we have to be grateful for. 

Health & Well-being

One of the most precious assets we often take for granted is our health. Without good health, financial stability alone cannot guarantee a fulfilling retirement. This Thanksgiving, whether you’re already retired or if retirement is just around the corner, we encourage you to reflect on the following:

Healthcare Coverage

Having access to quality healthcare and reliable insurance coverage is paramount. Medicare plays a significant role in healthcare for retirees, so it’s important to understand how it works and what it covers. Take the time to review your healthcare plans, including long-term care, and consider how you can optimize your coverage to feel confident in your well-being during retirement.

Healthy Lifestyle 

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help you enjoy your retirement to the fullest. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and stress management are all factors that contribute to overall health. Consider investing in preventive healthcare measures and wellness programs to safeguard your well-being in retirement.

Family and Relationships

Your family and close relationships are vital to your emotional health. Spend quality time with loved ones this Thanksgiving and express your gratitude for their support. As you plan for retirement, think about how you can cultivate meaningful connections and social engagement to keep your emotional well-being intact.

Life Experiences and Personal Growth

Retirement isn’t just about relaxing; it’s an opportunity to explore new interests and experiences. Here are some aspects to consider:


Many retirees look forward to traveling during retirement. Whether it’s exploring new destinations, experiencing different cultures, or embarking on adventures, travel can provide valuable experiences and memories. Start planning your retirement travel bucket list and budget accordingly.

Hobbies and Passions

Retirement allows you to invest more time in hobbies and interests that bring you joy. Whether it’s painting, playing an instrument, gardening, or volunteering, explore new activities or rekindle old passions to enrich your life during retirement.

Continued Learning

Retirement doesn’t mean the end of learning. Consider taking courses, attending workshops, or pursuing further education in areas that interest you. Lifelong learning not only keeps your mind sharp but also adds depth to your retirement years.

Community and Giving Back

Gratitude often finds its most profound expression when we give back to our communities. Here’s how you can incorporate this theme into your retirement planning:

Volunteer Work

Retirement offers you more time to give back to causes and organizations that matter to you. Identify volunteer opportunities in your area or consider starting a charitable initiative that aligns with your values.

Mentorship and Guidance

Your years of experience and knowledge can benefit others. Consider mentoring younger individuals in your field or providing guidance to those looking to navigate the retirement planning process.

Legacy Planning

Think about the legacy you want to leave behind. Estate planning and charitable giving can be a powerful way to support causes you care about while leaving a lasting impact on future generations.

Looking Forward With Thankful Hearts

By taking time to focus on your health, embrace life experiences, and find ways to give back to your community, you can find meaning and fulfillment this holiday season.

If you’re ready to work with a financial planner who is passionate about helping you realize your goals—financial and otherwise—I would love to hear from you! Schedule your complimentary introductory meeting by emailing me at [email protected], calling (417) 351-2942, or using my online calendar.

About Michael

Michael Vaughn is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and Vice President at Pinnacle Family Advisors (PFA) with 22 years of industry experience. Before joining the PFA family, he served clients with investment management and retirement planning at The Mutual Fund Store for 14 years. Michael graduated from Missouri State University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management and earned his CFP® certification in 2004. He also served 20 years in the Missouri National Guard, retiring in 2007 as a Major. He currently volunteers on the board of directors for Good Dads and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Michael is married to Lori and they have two daughters. To learn more about Michael, connect with him on LinkedIn.