Security and freedom. Your plans for retirement

Your alarm goes off and you open your eyes. You bound out of bed, anticipating the day ahead.  What is the first thing you do every morning? Would you like to change your morning routine?

Take a moment to think about what retirement means for you. What do you want to do with the rest of your life? Imagine life ten years from now and you’re looking back at what you’ve achieved. What would you like your past to look like? What memories would you like to create today?

Greater choices for retirees

The first thing people do the moment they retire is unwind. It feels like the beginning of a holiday. As time moves on and the ‘holiday’ stretches ahead, it may begin to resemble a sabbatical.

Eventually, you move into a retirement state of mind. People who consciously invest time and thought into creating their own ideal retirement are the ones who make the biggest success of it.

Financial security and the freedom to live the lifestyle you choose are major factors in retirement happiness. Both are worth planning for.

Financial security

Retirement will bring a new direction with fresh opportunities and they need to be funded. You want to be flexible in how you manage your finances.

How you use your pension income is important, especially in the early years of your retirement.

Techniques and timing make the difference and will help you consider things you previously hadn’t realised would be important.

As you set your budget for earning and spending, you may have in mind you’d like to help out your family. Children or grandchildren would benefit from receiving a gift from you and this could be given free from inheritance tax (currently £3k per year).

Another way to help out grandchildren is to start a pension for them. HMRC add to the funds you save on their behalf which makes it even more valuable.

Your accountant will help you structure your finances in a way that means you’ll pay the right amount of tax and benefit from the allowances available. An accountant keeps you up to date with the restrictions and opportunities a new government budget may present. This expertise is likely to save you thousands of pounds over the years.

Free financial advice and guidance is available and it’s always wisest to follow government sources because they are impartial. These include Money Advice and PensionWise. Other informational websites may be useful but it’s always worth checking the validity of the information, and the site owners, before following it too closely. 

Armed with the knowledge these websites give you, you will be well prepared for meaningful discussions with your financial adviser. Your knowledge will go beyond well-known topics like the latest annual ISA allowance figure for the over-50s. Instead you can spend the time discussing your own financial circumstances and the options to help you get the most out of your pensions, savings and investments – now and in the future. 

Your adviser will be someone who knows you and your family and understands your situation. If you’re choosing a new adviser, ask friends for a recommendation. In particular, ask why they chose that person and look on where IFAs are listed. IFA services are similar, yet different.

When you talk to potential advisers, ask about the kind of circumstances they have dealt with and judge their level of empathy. Can you relate to the examples they are providing you with? Along with financial expertise, the best advisers are those with empathy, experience and wisdom. These are the advisers who will understand your unique situation and take care in helping you get the best out of your finances.

Write down your lifestyle goals

Create a vision board and hang it in the study. Keep a list of what you want to spend your money on and use it to inspire your lifestyle.

Write your goals on a year planner and use it to help you stay focused. Remind yourself of the reasons why you have chosen your goals. With a strong and determined ‘why’, you are likely to achieve your goals because they reflect your values.

Freedom is a most cherished aspiration. Retirement offers perhaps the greatest freedom of all adulthood. Like money, you’ll want to spend your time wisely, making the most of every resource available. None of us are getting any younger and the time to start making the most of retirement is now.

Luxury parkland housing for the over-55s

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