Are You Prepared For Retirement?

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Retirement sounds delightful, doesn’t it? Think of it, the opportunity to look back over all of the accomplishments of your working life in relaxation and comfort. An opportunity to lead a leisurely lifestyle without the pressures of your normal working life. A chance to do all the things that you’ve always wanted to do yet never quite found the time. There’s no denying that retirement can be glorious… But it can also be an extremely challenging time. It can be a time when your income falls well below what your current lifestyle requires. When you face financial hardships that you haven’t known since your student days, and where the change of pace can be incredibly jarring.

The difference between enjoying your retirement and enduring it lies with proper preparation. When you’re adequately prepared for your retirement every hour of it can be the serene and relaxing experience that it’s supposed to be.

So, how do you go about properly preparing for your retirement? Well, you’re never too young or too old to start planning. Whether you’re in your early twenties or your fifties it’s never too late or too early to do something to plan for a happy retirement. For a healthy and happy retirement one needs to be prepared…

Financially

One of the most important considerations is to put a pension in place. If you work in a salaried job your employer has a legal responsibility to provide you with a pension. If they have not yet spoken to you about it, make a point of discussing it with them as soon as possible. If you are self-employed, you obviously won’t have access to a workplace pension but that doesn’t mean that you are without options. You are still entitled to the same state pension as everyone else (which for the 2018-2019 tax year is £164.34 per week). There are still a wealth of personal pensions for you to choose from. Lending Expert has some great advice on your pension scheme options.

Whatever kind of pension plan you have in place it also behoves you to have some form of additional savings to help you to weather any unexpected expenses either in your working life or in retirement. While the general rule of thumb is to put 10% of your monthly pay into your savings, in an era of high rental and living costs this may not always be possible. We suggest using a sliding scale. By all means reduce your contribution in the leaner months but be sure to bump it back up again when the financial weather is fair. You should also make sure that you have a savings account with a healthy interest rate.

If you own your own property, it’s important to consider your mortgage. Will you own your home outright by the time you retire or will you need to continue to pay your mortgage? If you intend to sell your home to finance your retirement, do you know its current market value and how long it will last you? You may wish to consider planning for a retirement property and investigating your options.

Health-wise

Retirement represents a degree of inertia that few of us are used to after a hardworking life. While we may expect the rest and relaxation we enjoy in retirement to be beneficial to our health retirement (especially early retirement) actually has some pretty significant health risks. Studies by the University of Zurich demonstrated a link between early retirement and mortality especially in blue collar workers. It can lead to increased risk of cardiovascular disease and even increased vulnerability to dementia.

It’s important to maintain an active lifestyle and healthy diet in retirement.

Work-wise

While we all think that we could do without getting up for work in the morning (especially a cold dark and forbidding January morning), many of us find ourselves missing our work after retirement. Work gives us a sense of fulfillment and access to a social network that we just don’t get when we are retired.

It may be worth investigating whether you can return to your work on a part time basis if the inertia of retirement proves too jarring for you. If not, you may wish to consider rewarding options for part-time or voluntary work.

Emotionally and Psychologically

Finally, it’s important to prepare yourself emotionally and psychologically for your retirement. Without a varied infrastructure of hobbies and interests you may find retirement novel at first, then dull, then boring and finally depressing. We are so accustomed to a fast pace of life that we rarely get to experience life at the other end of the spectrum.

With that in mind, make plans, find ways to keep yourself socially active and make sure that you will have a rich and robust calendar of activities upon retirement.

With the proper preparation and a little planning, the retirement of your dreams can be yours!

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