Approaching Retirement: How to Prepare
Retirement is a monumental event in a person’s life, and an event for which you never feel quite prepared. There are hundreds of variables involved in making the decision to retire, and hundreds more than can impact your quality of life afterwards.
Indeed, current economic circumstances have seen people less likely to retire early, in the hopes of shoring up their post-retirement financial situation – and some retirees are ‘unretiring’ to restock their savings. Here are some key ways in which you can approach your retirement journey, from reckoning with your own finances to making lifestyle changes that suit your later life.
Naturally, finances are the single biggest factor in the decision to retire. Not only is there the value of your private pension pot to consider, but also the volume of your savings and investments – and the rate of inflation, which has a devaluing effect on your savings over time. There is also the matter of your quality of life: do you have enough to live comfortably as you are, or will your quality-of-life decline to suit a new budget.
There are various routes a worker can take to address these concerns and shore up their finances. Over-55s, for example, are able to access an equity release mortgage that enables them to receive equity in their home without selling or relinquishing it. Meanwhile, shrewd investment in tracker funds can beat interest rates and keep your money earning passively.
Retirement is a fundamental shift in pace, and one which can have a surprisingly stark impact on your body. This is especially true where regular commutes and exercise are replaced with sedentary habits. By instituting a healthy regime of exercise and diet early, you can ensure that your body is the healthiest it can be for time to come – with the benefit of giving you more energy for your retirement activities.
Retirement, unmoored as it is from the frameworks to which we are used as working adults, can also be surprisingly paralysing. With all the time in the world, there is little impetus to get started on anything. This can quickly give way to empty days that turn into weeks.
The solution is to set some goals, and work towards achieving them. Now is the time to plan for that once-in-a-lifetime trip, or to get started on a new hobby you never had time for before. In setting goals and making plans, you ensure your days are filled with purpose and productivity on your own terms.
Lastly, retirement can be an isolating experience for many people. Without work colleagues to talk to, and with family still working or at school, it is easy to find oneself lonely. Actively combatting this is simple, though – as simple as joining a local community group or hobby club. Simply reaching out to family on a regular basis can be enough to keep you in the loop and on the minds of your loved ones.
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