When people think of retirement, they often have one of two thoughts. Either that it is a really long way off and that there is no point worrying about it yet, or they think that it is going to be a complete heaven! But even if you aren’t due to retire for another couple of decades, or you are excited about the prospect of giving up work soon, there are still some very important things you need to think about and consider.
Sure, you may think that no longer working will be an absolute dream, but it can actually bring about a few difficulties. Especially if you are underprepared for it. Ready to start organizing your best possible retirement? If so, read on to find out more!
Think About How You Will Spend Your Time
Even if you are very excited about quitting work once and for all, you may actually be surprised with the amount of free time this gives you. If you don’t consider what you are going to do with all this time, you might end up bored and frustrated. If you live on your own, this boredom could very well turn into loneliness. For most people, retirement is a time to focus on their hobbies and passions, so you could fill your time with all of your favorite pastimes. If you know that you will be financially stable after giving up work, then you might also want to plan some extended trips away. This is especially useful if you live quite far away from some friends and relatives.
Start Saving Now
Are you sure you will be able to support yourself financially once you begin retirement? In the U.K., where some of this blogs readers hail from, you will be able to take the basic state pension as one means of an income. However, this won’t be enough to sustain you financially on its own as it is only very minimum. It’s a good idea to set up a private pension that you can pay into while you are still working. Ideally, you should start paying into one of these while you are in your twenties or thirties. That way, you will be able to pay into it over a few decades and will be able to save up quite a sizable sum. Once you retire, you can choose to have this paid out to you in monthly installments or in a lump sum. It is also worth saving into a regular savings bank account. However, it’s important to bear in mind that this won’t grow as big as your pension pot might, and might not even grow enough to beat inflation.
Once you do hit retirement, there may be some large payments or purchases that you need to make. For instance, many people choose to move into a smaller home and downsize. This is especially the case if their children are grown up and have moved out; it makes sense to move into a smaller property if you no longer need lots of space. Plus, you might have to eventually pay for an assisted care home once you get to a certain age. To ensure that these big costs don’t drain your regular savings for retirement, you might want to put some money into investments, such as funds, stocks, and shares, while you are still working. If you leave these investments for a few years, they should, hopefully, grow considerably and leave you with a nice little nest egg. However, you need to remember that these investments can sometimes be quite risky, and you might end up losing some money if the economy takes a hit!
Be Actively Social
As I’ve already mentioned above, loneliness is a big problem among the elderly community. So, it is important you try and be as social as possible once you do retire. After all, you won’t be seeing people every day like you would have done at work. It’s important that you keep in touch with all of your friends and schedule plenty of catch ups and get coffee together as much as possible. That way, you won’t lose touch so easily. You might also like the idea of joining a few clubs and societies. Most hobbies have clubs, such as book clubs and gardening organizations. If you are feeling up to it in your old age, you could even join a sports team!
Fix Your Fitness Before It’s Too Late
If you want to enjoy your retirement years to their fullest, it is crucial that you are in good health. Otherwise, you will be plagued by various health conditions, and you might end up in hospital more than you would like! It’s best to start working on your fitness as soon as possible – don’t just sign up for the gym on your first day of retirement! This is something you should be preparing well before you quit your job for good. And it’s not just about getting fit either. You also need to make sure that your diet is healthy so that your body can adapt to aging in a healthy way.
Technology can make our life a whole lot easier to manage, so it’s a really good idea to embrace it as much as possible during retirement. For instance, smart tech in your kitchen will make it easier for you to prepare your daily meals. And there are now lots of devices, apps, and software that will help you keep in touch with all your friends and family members who live quite far away. As we get older, we often forget things a lot more and our memories can begin to fade. To help you stay on top of important appointments, you might want to invest in an Amazon Echo or one of the other current devices that can give you regular reminders. As these sync up to smartphones, you can always tell it notes to add to your phone so you don’t forget anything when you are out and about!
As you can see, the best way to enjoy your retirement is to plan well for it!