Top 10 tips for planning for your retirement The advice handed down to the younger generations is that ‘It’s never too soon to start planning for your retirement’ but it’s something that a lot of us put off. However, it can be a really good idea to start thinking about how you may wish to spend your time once you’re talking and how you’re going to fund your new lifestyle. Many retired people fill their lives with a mix of hobbies, time relaxing at home, tending to the garden and proving childcare for their loved ones so-much-so that they proclaim ‘I don’t know how I ever found time to work.’ To help you plan ahead for the future, we’ve put together our top 10 tips for planning for your retirement…. Start a new project Perhaps you’ve wanted to freshen up the paint on the walls in your home for a long time, you want to learn how florists make such stunning arrangements so that you can do it at home, you’re keen to get the bike back out of the garage and improve your fitness levels, or perhaps you feel it’s time to give back to the community through volunteering. There’s never a better time than now to start putting yourself, while keeping yourself mentally active, and getting involved in some activities that you can enjoy for years to come. Look at your finances when planning for retirement Now is also a good time to look at your current outgoings and consider ways that you can reduce this in line with the amount you will be living on from your pension. Which has a really handy ‘Pension calculator’ to help to sum it up. There will also be unexpected expenses along the way and may be opportunities where your family looks to you as a lifeline. Look into downsizing your home in retirement You may find that the home you currently own is bigger than you need and so this could be a good time to look at down-sizing. Not only would you be moving to a space which is easier to keep up together and maintain, but the excess money from the sale of your property could provide a welcome boost to your pension pot or help you to pay off the mortgage. Talk to your work about going part-time It will provide a much more straight-forward transition if you can reduce your hours now rather than working full-time until your last working day and it will also enable you to have more time to spend with your loved ones and focus on your own interests. Create a list of things to do in retirement As you head towards retirement, it’s a good opportunity to think about the things that you want to do and achieve in the future. We all like to have goals to work towards, and they don’t always have to be big things. It could be that you want to start a new exercise class, take your family on holiday, or challenge yourself to trying something out of your comfort zone. Consider updating your will At every new chapter in your life, the recommendation is to update your will (or at least review it) to make sure that it stays in line with your wishes. While death is something that nobody likes to think about, a will helps loved ones to know what you would like to happen to your estate once you are no longer here. It can often prevent things from turning sour between family members during what will be an extremely distressing time for them. Focus on your physical health If you’re already a fitness fanatic, then keep going, but if you don’t prioritise your health, why not consider joining a sports club or starting a new gym class? There are lots of low-impact activities to choose from including taking the dog for an adventure in the forest, playing walking football, joining a yoga session in your local church or community hall, or learning a new style of dance. Speak to friends about how you’re feeling Retirement can be a really positive next step in your life as you look to stop working and start enjoying the best of what life has to offer. However, people can often feel stressed, anxious and unsure as they look a future which is without the routine they have become used to over the past 40+ years. Why not broach the subject with your friends about the mixture of emotions and you may find that they are relieved that somebody else wants to talk about the tricky balance of happiness but also uncertainty? Improve your diet for a healthy retirement – If you have been meaning to start eating more healthily, why not incorporate at least one healthier meal into your diet each day. Make the most of your spare time by researching some recipes that you might like to try which incorporate at least one of your five a day. Give yourself a treat by finding healthy meals that can be made in bulk so that you have a homemade ‘ready meal’ to enjoy when you need it which will stop you reaching for the biscuit jar. Adopt a pet As you reduce your hours, it could enable you to welcome in the dog or cat you’ve always wanted but have never had time to look after. Pets can provide a boost to your emotional and physical health, providing that companionship and friendly face as you arrive through the front door that only an animal can offer. We have independent-living communities based across Dorset, Wiltshire and Somerset, which enable our homeowners to live among like-minded people. They benefit from the security and support of an onsite Community Manager, as well as the use of communal facilities and outside spaces. For more information about how this could work for you, contact our team.