We all look forward to our retirement however some of us consider this part of life so far away that it isn’t worth thinking about. Sadly, with the gradual decrease and potential disappearance of the state pension, retirement is something we should be thinking about as soon as we have an income, alongside the standard rainy-day funds, holiday savings and saving for yourself.
There are many reasons to start preparing for your future now, especially as you never know what the future may hold for you. You might find yourself in a low-income job that doesn’t allow much extra for saving or even without a job should the economy face another crash. Retirement is a personal responsibility, so you shouldn’t expect to rely on external resources that might not be available when the time comes for you to retire from work.
Options for Retirement
Retiring doesn’t necessarily mean stopping work completely, but many people choose to retire gradually. This might see you reduce your hours, move from a challenging job role to one that requires less intensive effort or even moving to help family in exchange for a small income. Retirement can last as long as thirty years, although individual circumstances will change depending on the time of retirement and personal health, but it’s important that you prepare for the long-haul.
Moving to a Manageable Property
Many people choose to downsize in their retirement, especially once all their children (if they have dependents) have moved from the family home. Downsizing reduces the outgoing costs month to month and can help to pay off an existing mortgage in full to remove the greatest monthly spend. A small property is easier and cheaper to maintain, helping towards reducing all monthly bills and requiring less time to clean and upkeep. Retirement lodges and park homes are a popular retirement property option, normally located in secure, managed locations and surrounded by peaceful, serene nature. These ready-made communities offer a wonderful balance of independence and support.
Preparing for Ill Health
As we age, the strength of our immune system and our ability to fight off common colds is weakened and it’s easier to catch illnesses that affect us in harsher ways. A common cold for a mid-20s adult can often be fought off while undertaking the usual routine, for someone in their 80s this could put them out of action for a week and potentially lead to other health conditions. One way of preventing this is to ensure we keep our immune system healthy as we grow older, eating plenty of fruit and vegetables and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. We also have a reduced ability to create our own body heat as we age, so you might have to accommodate saving extra for energy bills.
Accounting for Inflation
As time goes on, prices rise along with the cost of living and what we have originally put aside may not hold the value it did when you were saving it. To account for inflation, make sure to keep your retirement savings in a dedicated savings or investment account where the interest will allow for inflation. You can also look at purchasing an insurance policy with your pension pot that will cover you with a guaranteed income for life, known as a Lifetime Annuity.
We are all going to get old eventually (without considering accidents and health conditions) so it’s important that we prepare to look after ourselves, rather than expecting to rely on family members or friends. The early we start preparing the more comfortable our retirement can be, so don’t delay, consider how, when and where you’d like to retire and start building a solid retirement plan for your future, today.