If you were thinking about retirement, this year could have thrown your plans into disarray, or at least made you wonder when the time will be right. As well as the financial uncertainty at the current time, perhaps you had specific plans following retirement which this year has affected, such as those for travel or relocating.

Depending on your job and any health considerations, this too may influence your decision. Certainly, for many over 50’s, recent months have allowed them the opportunity to reevaluate what is most important to them, take stock of their health and consider changes they would like to make moving forwards.

Here we take a look at the key things to think about to determine whether now is the right time for you to retire and if not, what you may wish to put in place before you do so.

Do you need to continue working for financial gain or alternative benefits?

If you have investments and their value has fallen recently, continuing to work for longer may give these a chance to recover from the impact of 2020. Equally, if you had plans to travel, continuing to work until global mobility returns to something more typical may be a better option than retiring at this point and feeling frustrated at the lack of opportunities available to enjoy retirement the way you had planned.

For some already saving towards their retirement, recent months have enabled them to save a little more towards this given they have had less expenditure recently on certain things such as holidays, socialising and travel. If this is your situation and you have not already done so, increasing pension contributions might be an option. Speaking to an independent financial adviser can help you evaluate your investments and specific financial situation.

 Is your home suited to life after retirement?

Had you planned to stay put in your current home? If so, are there investments you wish to make here to ensure it is suitable for you in the long term? One thing we have all experienced in 2020 is more time at home and ample time to think about the renovations or updates we will make.

Unless relocating is part of your retirement grand plan, staying where you are can avoid the huge financial costs of moving and indeed enable you to stay close to friends and family, which can become all the more crucial in terms of providing a support network as we age.

Look out for opportunities to renovate rooms in your home by taking advantage of the winter sales in these areas. That way, when you do retire you will be happy to spend more time there.

If you are relocating, either to a new area or because of a desire to downsize it is important to ensure that the home you choose for your retirement is suitably future-proofed. You will want to benefit from enjoying the whole of your property and that need not mean choosing a bungalow should the need arise.

At Lifton Home Lifts, we offer a wide range of domestic lift solutions which provide homeowners with a safe and simply way of moving between floors at the touch of a button. Tony and Pene Hamilton from Oxfordshire relocated and did a great job of future proofing their home with a LiftonDUO Home Lift. Here, the couple explain why they were looking forwards and upwards to their retirement in their new home.

What other income sources do you have?

As well as your workplace pension, another income source will be your state pension. The state pension age as of October 6, 2020 is 66, though further increases to this are also planned.  Full state pension is currently just over £9,100 per year, paid weekly. You can check your own forecast pension on the government website www.gov.uk/check-state-pension

If you have other savings, such as ISA’s or savings account these will, of course, be key in terms of topping up your available funds.

Will you have enough money to last your whole retirement?

If full retirement is out of reach but you are still happy in your working life, perhaps semi-retirement is an option. This could offer you the best of both worlds, with more time to indulge in your favourite hobbies while you continue to bring in some income to ready for a full retirement. Given the uncertainty many employers have had this year, now may be the perfect time to propose a reduction in your working hours if finances allow.