Retirement refers to the time of life when one chooses to permanently leave the workforce behind. While your state pension may become available, a forced retirement age no longer exists and as such you could choose to retire at a time in your life that suits you. You might be looking forward to your retirement so that you can pursue hobbies and interests you otherwise did not have the time for, or you may feel trepidatious about the change in daily routines. Planning ahead is an important factor when considering your retirement to ensure you have the financial, mental and physical support to allow for plenty of time together with family, friends and your hobbies and interests.
Financial Planning When you retire you will no longer be receiving a regular income from your employment but may have savings or have a number of incomes from a state or work pension to draw from each month. Currently the state pension in the UK is paid at age 66 to men and women, but this is subject to change. The amount payable is dependent on the years that you have paid National Insurance contributions. Using the government website, you can check and see if you have any gaps in National Insurance payments which may affect the amount you are entitled to. As of 2022, if it has been less than six years, since a gap, you may be able to make a payment to back fill any gaps which improves your entitlement. nidirect.gov.uk has all the latest details. Currently, your state pension could look as follows:
- 35 years’ gives 35/35 x £185.15 = £185.15 a week
- 30 years’ gives 30/35 x £185.15 = £158.70 a week
- 10 years’ gives 10/35 x £185.15 = £52.90 a week.
For free pension advice moneyhelper.org.uk offers a range of guides and contact details to talk to someone about your options.
Time Planning After the retirement honeymoon phase, you will need a framework to your day or disenchantment and loneliness can creep in. You could work out a plan for your time – weekly (micro) and yearly (macro). A macro time plan might mean factoring in two lovely holidays in May and September – or a caravan trip around Europe or a yearly cruise. Your micro daily plans might mean you look at Volunteering or helping out at a Children’s church group. Another option could be joining a free online language course. Some societies are free or cheap to join such as your local history or archelogy society or group. Groups help to give your week structure and create friendships with like-minded souls. All the activities are lifestyle enriching.
Home Planning Making sure your home is accessible is not something we want to think about, but it is important and if you plan early, you minimise worries later down the line, for yourself and your family. Think about how you want to use your home and how you might need to use it in the years to come. Consider waist level appliances and you can integrate discreet grab rails into room design or where you locate seating/surfaces which prove useful in a number of ways when mobility is more of a consideration. You could look to landscape your garden to allow for free movement, think about raised beds or a flat patio. Consider lighting if your vision adjusts as you age, spotlights can disorientate and lower level, softer lighting is better. You could also look at investing in a home lift, so you have easy access all areas to your home in years to come. Domestic lifts have come a long way and a two-person Lifton Home Lift is slimline, stylish and blends effortlessly with your home design.
Exercise Planning This becomes essential as we age for preventing and managing disease such as diabetes or heart disease and keeps your muscles flexible. A strong body improves your balance and lessens your risk of falls. Physical activity may help increase endorphins and boost your mood. There are plenty of different ways to exercise now including group classes, PTs or outdoor gyms which are completely free to use. Online fitness apps are also a great way to fit exercise in around your schedule.
Diet Planning Thinking about your diet and eating healthy foods helps with sleeping patterns, energy levels, and your general health. You may have noticed that your mood often affects the types of food you choose, as well as how much you eat. If you want to reignite your love of cooking – look for a cookery course or holiday – there are some lovely cookery schools which you can book as part of a holiday experience in Italy and France – or even something as simple as your local farm shop might run a BBQ cookery day.