Your retirement is the next exciting chapter of your life and should be approached with a healthy and positive mindset.
After all, there should be time at last to start doing the things you’ve had to put off doing during all those busy years.
It’s time for you and regardless of when you decide to retire, you will already be thinking about spending time in the company of the ones you love, in a home that you adore – basically, enjoying a fulfilled lifestyle.
To help you achieve this, some preparation will be needed. Don’t leave it until the day arrives – it will be in your best interests to think about planning your retirement well in advance.
You will have much to consider, from reviewing your finances, to contemplating the ways that you can stay social and active once you have stopped working.
Here are a few ways to approach planning for retirement:
Retirement planning tips – financial
Seek professional financial advice when it comes to planning your finances. This should cover options with regards to your pension of course, but here are some additional aspects that you should consider when planning for retirement.
Work out your retirement income – For UK residents you can do this by obtaining State Pension statement and your defined benefit pension and adding this to any savings and investments you also have. This should then be divided into the annual income you might expect across your retirement. If you believe there may be other pensions you have held throughout your life, these can be tracked down too. You can investigate any ‘lost’ pensions that you may have, the Government offers a free Pension Tracing Service.
Review your day-to-day spending – Your pattern of income is likely to change when you retire. While some areas of your expenditure will lower such as mileage from commuting, other areas will increase as you begin to fill your free time. By understanding your spending habits, your income and budgets, you can gain a more objective view of the changes required to your income once you have retired.
Consider the ways you can boost your pension – Increasing your retirement income most often means being smart with your pension. Some people choose to delay the date they want to begin taking their pension, or even pay more into it in the years leading up to their retirement. Some of our residents have decided to boost their pension using the equity from a house sale, and instead of buying outright, renting a retirement property.
Clear debts – Starting your retirement debt free provides you with peace of mind. By reviewing how much you owe across your mortgage, loans and credits, and reviewing the rates of interest on each, you can prioritise the most efficient way to pay down any debts. Similarly to the above, asset sales are a good way to pay down these debts.
Retirement planning tips – lifestyle
An overlooked element of retirement is the emotional impact it can have on us. After maintaining a career for a number of years, retirement can leave you feeling like you have lost your identity.
Having an abundance of free time to fill can seem like the dream scenario, but in reality, many retirees can feel lost with so much time, and become unsure how to fill it. When retirement planning, it’s important to consider how you would like to spend your time and anything you would like to achieve. Here are our retirement planning tips for creating a fulfilled retirement lifestyle.
- Make a list of things you have always wanted to see, such as landmarks or locations, and even put dates against when you are going to see them.
- Carry out the exercise again, but with hobbies, activities and interests.
- Look for local groups that are aligned with these lists. This will also help you make new friends, because when you stop working there is potential for your social circle to get smaller.
- Think about the causes that matter to you, could you spend some of your free time volunteering for charities, local causes or even becoming a reading buddy in a local primary school.
- Are there any personal achievements you would still like to work on, such as writing a book? Now is the time to accomplish them!
- Get to grips with technology. Technology can make our lives so much more efficient and improve accessibility and communication.
- Get reacquainted with exercise, it’s so important to keep fit and active as we enter our retirement years. Regular exercise also contributes to our mental wellbeing, releasing endorphins and encouraging a positive outlook.
- Consider your later years. Initially in retirement it’s easy to see ten years ahead, but social circles and family situations are likely to change beyond that. You may want a hassle-free way to travel more, to be nearer family, or to reduce property maintenance.
Read up on our Top 7 Things to Do In Retirement to discover popular ideas of how to spend your retirement years.
Retirement planning – location and property
Once you have retired, you might want to start thinking about where you would like to spend your retirement years.
In the UK, we are lucky to have so many areas with so much to offer with regards to scenery, history and culture, and whether you are thinking for an urban, rural or coastal retirement – there are plenty of wonderful locations to choose from.
Many retirees want to move closer to family or friends, or back to areas that they have a strong personal connection with, while some simply want a change of setting and to explore new areas.
Before you consider location, our advice is that you also consider the type of property that you would like to live in. Take the time to think about the size of property you would like, is downsizing the appropriate step? If so, you will need to think about the steps that need to be taken to achieve this.
Keep in mind, the style of property, can you envisage stairs becoming difficult in the future in which case an apartment or bungalow would be the perfect option.
Properties that have been designed with an older generation in mind play host to a range of convenient aspects. These can include walk-in showers, eye-level ovens, raised sockets, auto-unlocking windows, door entry systems and emergency call alarms. Seeking out retirement properties can often provide further peace of mind.