When you start planning for retirement it can seem like there’s an overwhelming amount of things for you to consider. From the need to review your finances, to figuring out how you’re going to stay active and social – it is important to ensure you are happy and content with your lifestyle.
At iHus, we understand how important and challenging planning to retire can be, so we’ve created this retirement advice post covering all the things you need to know to really make the most out of your golden years.
Planning For Retirement – A Journey of Self-Discovery
Often, a comfortable retirement is seen as a goal for people to build towards while they are in their careers – marking an end to their working life. However, a more beneficial and accurate way of looking at retiring is as a new beginning.
It is a time of open-ended self-discovery and an unprecedented opportunity to freely explore passions, activities and ventures – both old and new. Retirement is different for everyone, and so it’s important to think about what you’d want yours to look like.
Be it a focus on personal growth through completing college courses and evening classes, or taking advantage of senior specific holiday packages to satisfy your dreams – creating a vision for what you’d like to achieve will help you to create a plan and make things happen.
It’s important not to be too strict on this though. People tend to live longer now and retirement is becoming an increasingly significant portion of people’s lives. Planning what you’re going to do for what could be upwards of 20 years is daunting and so, while it’s important to have some idea, it’s also vital to allow yourself room to explore.
Fighting Fit for Years to Come
Planning for retirement isn’t just about what you’ll do or whether you can afford it – there’s benefits to being proactive about your physical well-being too. It’s important to be prepared for future changes to your health and getting on top of it early can ensure you have the best quality of life possible in your golden years.
It’s worth getting a full health check-up before retiring to know your risks – but steps, such as frequent exercise and regular massages to improve circulation and mobility, will allow you to have greater freedom and more prolonged independence in your retirement.
Though it’s not just your physical health that can be improved with regular exercise – it also helps foster a positive mentality that can prove essential for people who are afraid by the emotional aspect of retirement.
Healthy Body, Healthy Mind
For many, the thought of retiring is comparable to reaching some kind of promised land where the days of early starts, long hours and stressful career responsibilities will be a thing of the past. The reality, however, is often very different from those expectations.
Studies have shown depression numbers are high in recent retirees, as giving up work involves a huge psychological shift – particularly if a career or powerful position has been largely informing your identity for many years.
It’s never too early to be proactive about your mental health – and wellness activities such as going on walks or meditating are great ways of achieving it. Setting yourself goals, and doing this regularly, also helps establish a routine and give your days more significance – so absolute freedom doesn’t seem quite so daunting.
When planning for retirement, it’s also crucial that you understand how ending your employment could significantly restrict your social circle. Sharing contact details with anyone you’d like to stay in touch with before leaving is a way to stave off loneliness – a major concern for the older generation – though it’s important to also consider some more long-term measures.
The number of people living alone in the UK has increased by a fifth over the last 20 years, rising to a figure of 8.2 million – with just under half being people over the age of 65.
In contrast, a third of UK households are now multi-generational, with older relatives being accounted for by 14% of these arrangements. Many retirees are choosing to move back in with children, in three or sometimes four generation households, for additional support. What’s more, options like granny annexes are allowing them to move back into a familial support bubble while still retaining their independence.
Preparing Financially for Retirement
Preparing for retirement is truly a lifetime’s work – so doing your own research, as well getting some professional support and guidance, is crucial. Pensions need to be applied for and, if you’ve previously worked multiple jobs, then you may have several to chase up.
State pensions are also complex and it can be hard to know exactly what you’ll get and when. Using an online pension or retirement calculator is a quick and simple way to tackle this and get an estimate on the income you should expect to receive.
It’s a good idea to track your current expenditure and calculate some cost of living predictions before you retire so you can see if your pension will provide you with sufficient coverage. Weekly living costs, capital for home renovations and money for leisure activities or travel are all examples that would need to be factored in.
If you’re considering retirement, having some practice could also be extremely beneficial – reducing work hours, taking a sabbatical or switching to a consultancy position would give you an opportunity to test the waters and see if you can retire comfortably.
Speaking with a financial advisor could also help to give you peace of mind that you would be financially able to finish working. Research shows that while 61% of over 55s intend to retire without taking advice, those that do save an average of £98 more per month and an additional income of £3,654 every year.
Speak to iHus
At iHus we have helped many people that have been in the same place you are now as you make plans for retirement. We can help you with advice from the people who have been there and done it. Speak to our team today and we’ll be happy to help.