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Planning for Your Retirement – A Short Check List

retired couple

After years of hard work, you’re certainly entitled to a peaceful retirement. But like any major life change there’s lots to think about and no doubt you’ll need to make plenty of adjustments. Of course you’ll need to work out your finances, but retirement isn’t just about your pension. There are potential lifestyle and emotional impacts too. Our brief checklist will help you consider how to ensure a smooth transition into your post-working years.

Your future finances
It’s a good idea to work out how much your retirement income is likely to be, and what you’ll need to live on. You may not need (or want) to continue with your current lifestyle, but it would be prudent to be able to cover your outgoings and have a little extra. You can get a forecast for your state pension pay out via www.gov.uk/browse/working/state-pension. If you have a number of different workplace or personal pensions, you may need to decide whether to combine them or keep them separate. It’s always best to consult an IFA well in advance for advice on any pension matters.

Stopping work
In the UK there is no legal retirement age, so when you stop work – or even whether you start to scale back your working hours in preparation for stopping – is entirely your decision and will be governed by a number of factors. Before you pick a date to retire you may want to consider things like your job satisfaction, your physical or mental ability to keep working, the financial stability it gives you, the social aspects of being part of a team, or any private healthcare benefits you may receive.

Where you will live
Downsizing and retiring often go hand in hand and moving home can be a useful way to free up some cash. You could take this opportunity to move from the city to a quieter location, or to a place you’ve always dreamed about, or to a new area that will offer you new opportunities and new adventures. But if you’re happy where you are now, and it’s financially feasible there is really no reason to move away, especially if you have family and friends close by. You’ll also need to consider if you could cope mentally and physically with the stress of moving.

The emotional & mental impact
While many retirees thrive on the freedoms that come with stopping work, others experience a lack of direction and structure to their days, boredom, and loss of life satisfaction. They struggle to “switch off” from work mode and relax, especially in the early weeks or months of retirement. They feel anxious at having more time on their hands and find it difficult to fill the extra hours with meaningful activity. So you may want to consider if you’re mentally ready to retire completely and embrace the changes it will bring.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. You should not construe any such information or other material as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice. You should consult an Independent Financial Advisor for more information.

About the Author: Helen Say is a freelance copywriter and blogger www.cblservices.co.uk

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