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6 Steps to successfully planning for your retirement

Retirement is a huge lifestyle change that’s not always all about enjoying your golden years basking in all your new-found free time. It can be a psychological struggle as well as a financial one so to ensure you have a happy and successful transition from work to play, we’ve put together a few tips to help you through. 

Step 1) Sort out your finances 

Get a state pension statement on the gov.uk website, check what benefits you’re entitled too (you can do this on Age UK’s website), track down any old pension pots and add up any savings or investments you have and work out what your retirement income will be. It’s also a good idea to think about saving for emergency costs or unforeseen expenses. Remember, your lifestyle is going to change which means so will your spending habits, so bear this in mind when working out your budget. If in doubt, seek the advice of a professional financial adviser. 

Step 2) Plan what you want to do with your time

When you find so much time on your hands, it can be a little overwhelming, so to help make the transition easier and to avoid falling into days that stretch on and on, plan out how you’re going to structure your time. As well as day to day activities, such as cleaning, cooking and grocery shopping, plan other activities to vary your days. Perhaps you could volunteer part time at a local charity shop, join the gym, go for a daily walk, take up a new hobby or interest, enrol in adult learning classes or offer to babysit any grandchildren.  

Step 3) Write down 3 big goals 

As well as the little, continual goals you want to achieve like those outlined above, write down 3 major goals that you dream of achieving. This could be anything you like such as writing a book, setting up on online forum for lonely older people, travel to Asia, or even skydiving! Having 3 big goals will help keep your everyday goals on track and give you a massive sense of achievement once you have completed them (don’t forget to replace a goal every time you achieve one). 

Step 4) Give yourself time to get it right

The transition between working full time and retirement is likely to be one of trial and error as you try to find the lifestyle you want. It’s important to take this time to find the right balance between how you want to spend your time so don’t worry if you don’t enjoy retirement as much as you thought you would right away. Give it some time and take the pressure off, you will soon find the right path. 

Step 5) Seek help if you are struggling

If you find you are struggling to adjust to the change, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Retirement is a huge lifestyle change and many people find it difficult to adjust. Talk to a family member or friend or seek the advice of your GP. You might also benefit from going along to a lunch or social activity that has been designed by various charities to give retired people a place to meet, chat and swap experiences. 

Step 6) Think about home care 

There’s no getting away from the fact that as we get older, we can no longer do things as well as we’d like. So, if you begin to find you could do with a little extra help around the house to help you maintain your quality of life, consider getting the helping hand of a professional home care provider. As well as helping you with chores around the house and your personal care needs, your carer will also provide a friendly face and companionship. 

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