10 Top Retirement Planning Tips
Let us help you to get the most from your retirement. You need to look at finances and seek advice if needed, also think about making the transition from work to retirement as smooth as possible. It can prove difficult going from full time work to being at home.
1 - Get a pension forecast
Six months before you retire, you need to contact your current and previous pension providers to find out what your final pension will be and how it will be paid to you.
If you've been enrolled in a workplace pension scheme, contact the pension trustee to find out how much you'll get. If you have a personal pension, then contact the provider.
You can get a state pension forecast on the government's website. The Pension Service should contact you four months before you retire to tell you if you need to claim your state pension. If they haven't contacted you, you should contact them on 0808 100 2658.
You should also let HMRC know you are retiring four months beforehand.
2 - Keep on working
Make the change gradual. Phased Retirement can be a good way of making the transition a successful one, it will also help with funds. With retirement years lasting longer, many people are finding that their savings aren't stretching as far as they thought they would.
If phased retirement isn't something that appeals or possible then think about starting a new interest, before you retire if you can.
3 - Defer the date you take your pension income
An option may be to defer the date on which you start taking your pension income - this can increase your income because your savings have longer to build up and your pension will be payable for a shorter period.
4 - Make a Budget
One of the biggest retirement mistakes people make is spending too much too soon. Having a retirement budget is important. A retirement budget ensures that you'll be able to make smart choices about the retirement lifestyle you want.
We can help you with making a retirement budget. You'l need past bank statements and credit card bils so we can understand your existing outgoings and where changes can be made (if any).
Of all the factors that will affect your retirement income : inflation, savings, investments, spending and income, spending is the one thing you have the most control over.
Making and sticking to a budget is one way to make your retirement income go further.
5 - Identify possible cuts in your spending
Once you've made a budget it will be easier to identify areas where you're spending more than you might have expected, and also where you think you could easily spend less.
6 - Claim any benefits
Find out if you're eligible for pension credit, which can top up your basic state pension to £151.20 (2015/16) for single people and £230.85 for couples. You should also register for the winter fuel allowance, which can be worth up to £300, and you may be eligible for the cold weather payment, if you're claiming certain benefits.
7 - Downsizing
Downsizing can be a useful way to convert some of your wealth into financial assets that can be used for other retirement expenses. It can be a necessary survival strategy that could stretch your savings across your retirement years.
Living on a smaller scale may mean fewer expenses, such lower maintenance costs, and lower utility bills. Although you do need to consider the drop in value of your current home, fees and commissions on selling your existing property.
8 - Make time for yourself
Being retired may mean you have more time to do the things you've always wanted to.
You may have something in mind that you've always wanted to do? It could be a new interest, volunteering, travelling or even learning a new skill.
New leisure pursuits / interests
During retirement you will hopefully have more time for your leisure activities, or you may be looking for a new interest or activity to enjoy in your spare time.
There may be lots of local groups in your area that could catch your interest, your local library or internet is a good place to start.
Volunteering in retirement
Older people can bring a wealth of skills and expertise to volunteering. Volunteering is also a good way to make new friends and improve general levels of health and fitness and by passing on your skills you can make a difference to people's lives.
9 - Stay Active
It's never too late to start exercising to improve your health, even if you're about to retire.
Getting into a rut when you're retired can easily happen, particularly if live by yourself. Local gyms (or swimming pools) are often very supportive of older people and can help with a plan that suits and often a budget too.
Exercise can be good for your mental health as well as your physical health and a great way to meet new friends.
10 - Consider getting some advice
Last but not least consider seeking financial advice. If you have particularly complex needs in retirement, have built up multiple pension pots, or need help with investments, it's well worth getting a second opinion.