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Planning Retirement Online

Initial Planning

Our initial planning should consist of us asking some questions of ourselves so that we can start to think about what it is we want from retirement. At the same time, we need to have in our mind the essentials of retirement.

These questions, how to go about initial planning and the other topics listed in the panel are covered in the Laterlife Planning Retirement Guide.

Why Plan for Retirement? links

What are going to be the most important things to me in retirement? We need to establish in our mind those things that are going to be the bedrock of our retirement, without which the whole thing will founder. By thinking about these issues we can then keep them in our mind throughout all our subsequent planning and ensure that they are taken care of. For example, one of the basics, that people almost always say is one of the key things, is health. However, we don't always think about how we can help ourselves to keep healthy. It may just happen, if we are one of the lucky ones, but we can help the process along by doing some exercise, eating a healthy diet and so on. So if health is one of our key issues we need to plan how can enjoy helping ourselves to stay healthy. You might like to look at the Guide to Staying Fit and Healthy on the Laterlife web site for some ideas. Think about your key issues and then plan how you can meet them and enjoy them at the same time.

What Opportunities do I Hope to Take in Retirement? On the front page of this Guide, Why Plan for Retirement, we say that retirement is a time of opportunity and choice. We have the opportunity to do what we like and we can choose what we do. We need to plan, therefore, which opportunities we wish to take. Do we want to travel more? to learn a language? to take up golf? to do some voluntary work in order to give something back to society? to learn the guitar? to find out more about our family history? The options are almost endless, but we need to think about which options we want so that the things we do give us fulfilment and enjoyment. The Guide to Hobbies and Interests on the Laterlife web site might help you with some ideas as might the Guide to Arts and Crafts.

What are My Concerns about Retirement? Almost all of us will have some concerns about retirement, be they financial concerns, health worries, doubts about how we are going to fill our time, worries about people 'stealing' our time by asking us to do things that we don't really want to do, or whatever. These concerns are the things that we have to factor in to our planning so that we don't allow them to dominate our mind and lead to negative thoughts about retirement. If we analyse our concerns, rationalise them and then plan how to overcome them, we will be able to minimise their impact in retirement so that they don't spoil our enjoyment.

What Sort of Lifestyle do I Want to Lead in Retirement? We need to think about the kind of life we want to lead in retirement so that the opportunities that we take fit around that. For example, if we feel that we will want to go away on impulse, at the drop of a hat, we should be careful about doing things that will require us to be at a particular place at a particular time. For example, if we're thinking about doing some learning, we might well get it through distance learning - the Open University or learndirect, the government-funded courses that are done over the internet, for example, rather than by signing up for classes where we have to go every week. This will give us the flexibility that we need. If, on the other hand, we feel that we need a routine or structure to give us the incentive to get out and do things, then a regular class might well be the very thing for us. The same principles apply when we're thinking about any sort of work in retirement, or how we might get some exercise to keep fit or any other aspect of our retirement.

What Aims we have for Retirement. We should think about and plan for anything that we want to achieve in retirement. Our aims might well overlap with the opportunities that we want to take. So, for example, one of our aims might be to become fluent in a foreign language or give something back to the community through voluntary work. Or it might be that we want to assist our children in some way or help put the world to rights by doing some political activity. On the other hand, we might have some general, overall aim for how we want to live in retirement. How about this aim: 'Two days earning, two days learning and three days for fun', as an aim for how we want to spend our time?

If we think about all these things and then integrate them into an overall plan for retirement we can minimise our worries and maximise our enjoyment.

Why not read our introduction to Why Plan for Retirement? and then take a look at our innovative e-learning online planning retirement workshop by visiting  If you purchase a licence you will find all the knowledge and experience distilled from our real world workshops, covering every aspect of retirement lifestyle and finances, with the ability to visit and revisit the workshop as often as you like to build and refine your own plan for retirement.

You might also like to look at our 'real world' Planning Retirement workshops and then ask your employer to pay for you to attend one. You will be able to spend the day thinking, planning and discussing your retirement and gleaning ideas from others about how to best enjoy the rest of your life. It's well worth spending one day to make the most of the next 10,000!

Try our FREE

'How ready are you to retire' self-assessor.

This Guide is written by Retirement Specialist Dave Sinclair supported by members of the LaterLife team. As well as writing on retirement matters Dave is Training Director at LaterLife and responsible for the content and continuous improvement of LaterLife's Retirement Courses.
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