Reaching your retirement can be a blessing. At last, you no longer have to worry about getting up in the morning and heading into the office. You suddenly have so much free time to fill with activities and social engagements that you enjoy. You can finally take that trip abroad that you’ve been dreaming about for years. Yes, there are a lot of perks to being retired, but as you transition into this period, it’s also important to remember to think ahead. Although your health might still be good, and you’re still full of energy and vibrance, in the coming decades, you will move into your golden years, and there is much to prepare for this stage in life. Below are a few tips and things to think about if you’re getting ready to retire.
Even if you’ve saved all your working life and have a good pension coming your way, don’t assume that you don’t need to check over your finances. Figuring out how much you can live off comfortably during your retirement while still enjoying yourself is key. Where possible, try to clear all of your outstanding debts before you retire if you have any, as this will help to give you a better idea of what you’ll be left with to live off. You might even want to think about making some investments to boost your income once you leave employment. It’s always wise to consult with a pension adviser to see if they can help you get the most out of your pension and advise on when you should start claiming it.
Should Your Relocate?
A lot of people choose to move to a new home once they retire, usually because they want to downsize to a more manageable and cost-effective property. It could also be due to returning to a place where they grew up or relocating to an area they have always been interested in living in, but work has kept them in one location. It is worth thinking about whether or not you want to move into a new home, even if you’re not planning to move to a new town altogether. Although you might feel confident in your independence now, as you age, you might struggle to get up and downstairs or struggle with other simple tasks. Moving to a home that is better suited to these limitations now or soon will reduce the stress of having to move home later.
Traveling is a popular past-time with many retirees as there are fewer restrictions around the time of year you can go on vacation, and you can go for as long as you like without worrying about getting back to the office. If you have been thinking about globe-trotting to fill up your time once you retire, try to plot out your trips strategically. If you’re into hiking or more adventurous trips, these might be better to do sooner rather than later while you’ve still got the strength and energy to do so.
Another thing you will need to think about budgeting for is any future care you may need as a senior citizen. There are various care options available, and depending on your health, you might need more intensive support later in life. For example, you may need to move into an assisted living facility, like this home, Belmont Village Senior Living Glenview in Illinois. You will have private accommodation, but there will be nurses and healthcare professionals on-site to help you manage any medication and provide support with daily living tasks. Another option if you want to maintain your independence is to move into independent living, where you will able to carry out your life without the need to do household chores that could leave you vulnerable if an accident were to occur. Either way, it’s important to think about the costs of these types of care and be aware that you may need to use these services one day.
Another benefit of moving into a senior living home will mean that you are at less risk of injuring yourself, unlike you would be in your own home. For example, do you have steep steps leading to your front door or a lack of support bars? Have you considered what would happen if you would need a wheelchair? All of these, and more, would require modifications to be safe for you to live in, and then living alone could mean you struggle to get the medical care you need urgently when you experience a fall.
This is a bleak thought, and no one wants to plan their funeral, but it is yet another thing you might want to start mulling over after retirement. While it’s highly likely that you have many years still ahead of you, funerals can be very expensive so putting aside some money to help your loved ones cover the costs when this happens is important. Planning also means that you get to have the send-off you want and the opportunity to make the day a little easier for your loved ones to get through. There are certain plans you can sign up for where you make monthly payments towards your funeral expenses that can be withdrawn by your family when the time comes.
Check Your Will
As well as preparing for a funeral, it’s wise to check over your will at some point after retirement. Making sure that your loved ones are included and that you’re still happy with the arrangements you have made is important. If it has been a long time since you have looked at your will, it’s good to refresh your memory and make any necessary updates to it (if there is no longer someone in your life that needs to be removed from your will or someone added to it, for example). If you haven’t prepared a will yet, you should do this as soon as possible.
Finally, it’s important to stay active once you retire, both in the form of physical exercise and taking care of your mental health. Engaging in social activities will help you to stay happy and healthy, so joining a club or society could be a good way to do this and make new friends. Taking up new hobbies is also a good idea as you will need to find something to fill up all your new free time in retirement!
Moving into this phase of life can be very exciting, and there are many opportunities for new adventures once you’ve retired. However, it is important to still think ahead and prepare yourself for your golden years so you can have peace of mind that you and your loved ones will get the right support.