Retirement Planning is Essential
Finance and Free Time
Every day you are employed you are trying to juggle a job, a home and, perhaps, a family. Life is a treadmill and you’ve been on it for years. Will you be able to survive if you get off it? So far, you’ve very little time to yourself. The day you retire it will all change. Endless days are filled with nothing unless you have managed to plan ahead for retirement.
Retirement decisions are perhaps the hardest you will have to make in later life. Decisions about finance will be crucial. How will you live on less money but have more time to spend it?
How will you cope with being with your partner all day?
If you evade these questions you may end up totally depressed. You will feel you are not needed to do a useful job anymore, you are not socializing with your work colleagues and you are in your own home, either alone or with your partner. You are not used to being around all day and your partner isn’t used to you being there either.
So what are you going to do?
Plan 2 Years Ahead
Scroll back to 2 years previously. This is when you should have been thinking about the finer details of retirement, particularly your financial situation. Do you still have loans that need to be paid off?
Prior to this, over the decades you should have put in place a method of saving, whether in hard cash [not much chance of a good rate of bank interest here at the moment], stocks or shares, or property.
But returning to the 2 years previously, you should have been working to a strict budget, which includes all your income and expenses. Make sure it is highly detailed, including all your service bills. Perhaps it’s a good time to switch gas and electricity suppliers if you can get a better deal. Include general day-to-day living costs, subscriptions and leisure. How many times do you eat out? Do you have expensive holidays? Scrutinize your accounts and look where you can cut out luxuries. Make a new budget based on your projected retirement income. Then try to adapt to your new budget. It’s a really good opportunity to use your new budget whilst still earning. You will still have your salary to fall back on if your new budget doesn’t work. If it doesn’t then you’ll have to re-think. Do you really need 2 cars? Think about sorting out your credit cards now. Make sure your credit card balance transfer is zero rated. It’s a case of what you are prepared to forego and what you want to hold on to.
Endless Days Free to D
If you’ve had a job that demanded long hours both during the week and at the weekend, then you probably don’t time to have any hobbies. You can’t sit on your backside all day and watch television. It’s just not healthy. Even if you had a job at a desk you would have been far more active than you will be when you retire, unless you are conscious of the fact. Aches and pains increase as you get older and it is vital you do something positive for both your mental and physical health and well-being.
A Few Suggestions
A Part-Time Job
If you have loved your work, then consider looking for a part-time job. It may be connected to your full-time job or it could be something completely different, perhaps more manual than mental. It could be a temporary job that only requires a few weeks or months or just needed at Christmas time. Whatever the requirements, it may lead to other little jobs.
There are so many organizations that are desperate for your support, whether as a fund-raiser or in administration. Rattling a collection tin in a supermarket may take up an occasional day but you are making a tangible contribution to help someone else.
Local hospices are often in need of help from drivers who can collect day patients to attend the hospice so that they can meet other people to do crafts or similar activities. It's likely that you will need to attend a couple of introductory sessions to make sure you follow their code of practice.
Your library may be short-staffed because of local cut-backs. Here’s your opportunity to help out and, at the same time, catch up on all the newly published books.
Take up a new Hobby
You friends play bridge. You can’t. Why
What about other leisure activities? There are so many, from fishing to golf, from crown green bowls to tennis or from bird watching to learning to play a musical instrument There are all levels of physical activity but there will be one that will cater for your needs.
Take a Short or Extended Course to learn a New Skill
Computing skills courses are popular with retirees. If you join a class of similar-aged people you might feel more comfortable and not embarrassed that your skills are a little rusty. Start that family history research that you've always wanted to do. There are courses to guide you through the archives.
Learn a Language
It’s a long time since you studied a language at school. Lots of language courses are available at both day and evening classes. French, Spanish, German and Italian as well as the less popular languages are studied by many people who have retired, particularly if they wish to plan a holiday. All levels of language courses can be found, from easy holiday conversation to GCSE or higher levels, even accredited online college degrees.
You will have to budget carefully, but if a holiday is a priority, as it should be, then plan with a fixed sum in mind.
The beauty of being retired is you can book plane tickets, get rental car deals and hotels out of the high season and when schools are in session. There will be greater availability of the dates you require and more choice of hotels and alternative accommodation, like motels or bed and breakfast cottages and everything will be cheaper.
Do the Housework!
This activity costs you nothing and it gives you plenty of exercise. You may think it’s a chore but look on the positive side-it’s helping to keep you active and that is vital.
Do the Gardening!
You are perhaps a keen gardener
The message should be loud and clear. Everyone will reach the day when they retire. If you are consciously prepared for the day and have planned for both your new financial situation and your free time then retirement is wonderful!
If you’ve buried your head in the sand, have no hobbies or interests then you could be in for a big shock.
Start planning immediately. It’s better late than never!