Retirement is a big life change and it's important that you effectively plan ahead so you can make the most of your well-deserved golden years. Whether it be writing a retirement bucket list or considering some home improvements, planning for retirement could save you a of lot hassle, leaving room for you to focus on the exciting moments.
Here are six things to consider when planning your next chapter:
Evaluate your health
First and foremost, health is the most important aspect to review when you make arrangements for later life. We recommend getting a full health check with your local GP to analyse the state of your health. This could also be a good opportunity to discuss any lifestyle choices you could make to future proof your wellbeing, including:
Making possible changes to your diet that could put you at your best health and prevent you from acquiring any age-related illness.
Taking up a fitness class to improve both your mental wellbeing and physical balance, such as Tai Chi, could show great health improvements as you adapt to a change of lifestyle. Walking sports are also a great way to get fit – they’re the walking versions of sports like football, hockey and basketball. Walking sports are really popular among people aged 50 and over, not only benefitting physical and mental health but providing invaluable opportunities to meet new people too!
Review your expenses
In retirement, financial planning is essential. When you stop earning, you will be granted access to your pension. You may want to enlist the help of a financial adviser to help manage your retirement income. This will increase your chances of getting the best use out of your pension scheme and any other state benefits that may be available to you. The full benefits of your state pension could be affected by your retirement age, so getting some financial advice in good time would be beneficial in the long run.
Otherwise, consider utilising a pension calculator to calculate your entitlements on what funds you might have spare so you can book in things you’ve always wanted to do.
Furthermore, revisiting your will, to update any changes you may want to make, every few years could be a smart idea.
Prepare your home
A few home improvements could transform accessibility and mobility within your existing home. Whilst it may not be an issue for you at the moment, taking the time to check your house for any structural issues that could potentially limit your independence in older age, is worthwhile tackling early on.
Implementing physical aids to support movement around the home, such as a stairlift, handrails, sloped pathways and possibly a downstairs toilet, are key considerations.
Another thing to look at, is where you live and if it's a convenient location for your day-to-day life needs. You may want to move closer to your children and grandchildren, especially if you think you will rely on them for care as time goes on. You might even have the aspiration to move to the coast or even abroad. Now that’s an exciting thought!
Fill your time wisely
Retirement for you might not mean giving up work completely. In fact, nearly one in 12 people in their 70s are still employed, this has doubled over the past decade. So, if it means simply reducing your hours or a change in career to a less intense work environment, planning your new lifestyle could involve exploring different job opportunities.
If you are departing working life altogether, thinking of new ways to spend your time could help prevent you from feeling a sense of loss or potential boredom. You could even dedicate time to volunteering in the local community, both to expand your social life whilst supporting fantastic causes.
Why not try something new, perhaps learn a new skill or hobby. You could organise a book club, coffee morning or games night to get to know others also transitioning into retirement.
Book that trip you’ve always dreamed of
No matter what path you take in retirement, it's vital that you plan ahead and prepare whether financially or otherwise. Savvy saving means you’ll be able to invest in truly special trips away, whether abroad or closer to home. Exotic islands, snowy mountains and historical hotspots await – the world is your oyster. There are so many fun ways to travel too! Cruises, walking holidays and coach trips can all be enjoyed in a group, with grandchildren, your partner or on your own.
Preparing now will pave the way for a happy and healthy retirement. An author once said: “Retirement is wonderful if you have two essentials – much to live on and much to live for”. It’s time to be savvy, so you can spoil yourself – and your loved ones – down the line.