Retirement PlanningWhat is it?
The common reaction to the question 'What is retirement planning?' is to immediately think about money and financial planning. There are two inextricably linked threads in answer to the question, 'What is retirement planning? These two threads are:
Although they are closely bound together, and we need to do both if we are to have a happy and fulfilled retirement, they really need to be started at different stages in our life. In order that we have sufficient money to enjoy our increasingly lengthy retirement, due to ever-increasing longevity, we should start financial planning as early as possible. However, as retirement gets closer, lifestyle arguably becomes more important, so that we give ourselves the best chance to make the right choices for ourselves in retirement, so that we both enjoy it and get satisfaction from it.
Ideally we should consider our retirement planning in depth at least every 10 years after we first start work. In the earlier years this will focus most heavily on financial and pension planning with initial thoughts about lifestyle and gradually the emphasis will switch to be heavily the other way round in the last few years before retirement.
You may be interested in our separate 'online retirement planning' site which amongst other things includes a set of 10 year timelines with checklists of what to look at at each stage.
If you are within a few years of potential retirement you may also like to consider our retirement seminars which we run all round the UK and which cover all aspects of planning retirement and how to make the most of that 40-50 hours of extra leisure time each week for the next 20-25 years.
Below we look at both Retirement Financial Planning and Retirement Lifestyle Planning in a little more depth.
Retirement Planning - financial
We need to consider the fact that we may well live for 25 years after retirement with no income from employment. No matter what our ambitions we want to have a decent standard of living in retirement and the earlier we started making provision the easier it will be to achieve that. We need to make an estimate of how much we think we will need in retirement to maintain the lifestyle we want and revise that as our views of how we want to spend our retirement change.
If you are part of a company pension scheme make sure you find out how it works and how much it is likely to pay you when you retire. This is difficult if you are in a defined contribution scheme because of the uncertainties inherent in the stock market, but it's well worth getting a realistic estimate. You should also find out if you can make extra payments via AVCs (Additional Voluntary Contributions) to increase your retirement income.
One way of increasing your retirement income is by taking out a personal pension. There are a great many on the market and we need to be careful that we choose one that will suit us in terms of payments, flexibility, benefits and so on. So do your research: read the financial press, look on the internet, ask people who already have a pension and so on. In particular, look at the Financial Services Authority website (http://www.moneymadeclear.fsa.gov.uk/products_explained/pensions.html), where you will find a clear explanation of how personal pensions work.
You may decide you need a financial advisor to help. It's ideal if you have a recommendation from a friend or family member but if not you may like to start your search by going to http://www.laterlife.com/laterlife-ifa-independent-financial-advisers.htm
Also for fuller coverage of the financial aspects of retirement planning take a look at our guide on Retirement Pensions - covering state pensions, occupational and personal pensions and you may also find the connected guide When to retire helpful, especially as the decision when to retire is now in our own hands since the Default Retirement Age was removed.
Retirement Planning - lifestyle
With increased longevity, these days when we retire we hopefully have many years of active life in which to make the most of this new phase of life. Even if we opt for a phased retirement for financial or other reasons, we need to plan what to do with all that extra leisure time to both enjoy it and achieve a satisfying retirement.
We need to consider how we stay fit and healthy, whether we want to work in retirement including voluntary work, our desire for travel ranging from days out to world trips, hobbies and interests including further education, how our relationships with friends and family will change and a whole range of other aspects. The goal being to ensure that what we choose to do keeps us physically and mentally fit, maintains or increases our social circle and that we do the things we enjoy rather than feeling we have to do things that we don't like.
The best way of doing this planning is via a retirement seminar. At Laterlife we are specialists in this area operating the most extensive schedule of open retirement seminars in the UK and a comprehensive online retirement planning resource.
Just take a look at a few of the things our delegates say.
Retirement Planning - additional information
You may also like to try using our free retirement planning self-assessors which give you an idea of the things you should be thinking about and through a series of questions establish how prepared you actually are and where you need to focus your attention.
Laterlife has been in operation since 1999 and our training arm Laterlife Learning since 2004. Click to find out more about Laterlife Learning. Laterlife is a registered trademark of laterlife.com Limited.
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