Last year was tumultuous. In June 2016 we voted to leave the European Union, dividing the population and leaving the pound facing a rollercoaster ride as policymakers start the process.
In America Donald Trump won the presidential election. Since taking office he has already signed executive orders to reign in Obama’s signature healthcare laws, build his now infamous wall along the US / Mexico border and controversially ban travel from seven Muslim-majority countries.
Domestically we also have other problems to which there are no clear solutions, such as the cash-strapped NHS and social care system struggling to meet the needs of our ageing population (life expectancies are the highest they have ever been).
For those who are retired or about to retire, this uncertainty means it is now more important than ever to make the right decision.
However, you can make 2017 the year you future proof your later life by properly considering the financial element to retirement planning, as well as the home you want to live in and moving closer to loved ones. Plus don’t forget you want to make the most of the years ahead and have some fun; it isn’t all doom and gloom!
The Government recently introduced a series of legislation changes known as ‘pension freedoms’, which mean pensions are now extremely flexible. However, you need to be decisive when converting your pension pot to retirement income to make the most of it.
For this reason, it is advisable to consult an independent financial advisor (IFA). They will be able to tell you about all the different options available (e.g. annuity, drawdown or periodic lump sums) before helping you decide which suits your own budget, preferences and individual set of circumstances.
IFAs will also be able to help you shop around for the best deal and avoid money scams, which often employ professional looking websites and company literature to hoodwink people (you can also check companies are registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to verify their authenticity).
Bringing the family closer
For many people, moving closer to family in later life is high on their priority list. This is enormously positive both for retirees themselves and for their loved ones.
When you give up work and are able to relax a little more, then spending more time with children and grandchildren can obviously be a big plus. If your grandchildren are young, then your son or daughter will more than likely appreciate the free babysitting too!
However, there are other benefits too. As you age your children may start to worry about you, even if you are as fit as a fiddle. It will give them great peace of mind to have you close by, where they can get to you quickly if something untoward happens.
If you decide to move to a retirement village, then the security and sense of community offered by these developments, not to mention access to practical care services should you need them, will also be of great comfort to your children.
If you think it would be useful to read about other family’s experiences, here are articles which some of our existing residents have kindly allowed us to share:
Daughter, Emma Cornelisse – Surrey
Daughter, Karen Mallinder – Warwickshire
You could also let your children help you look for a suitable retirement property. Being involved at an early stage and asked to contribute will be of great assurance to them. This is something we see on a regular basis at Retirement Villages.
Have some fun!
Finally, when you are planning for retirement remember that this should be your time to relax and have some fun! A time to embrace life and make the most of every day let alone the year ahead. A time to tick things off your bucket list, such as an adventure holiday, as well as spend time with loved ones.
Having fun and being social will help you stay physically and mentally active in later life. Indeed, some pensioners take this to the extremes; take a look at our top five in our blog from September 2016. These include Ruth Flowers (aka Mamy Rock), who became a club DJ at the age of 68!
All of our retirement villages provide a wide range of social events and activities to get involved with as you see fit, many organised by the residents themselves. You can find out more about this by clicking on each of our locations here.