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Are you financially prepared for retirement?

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Article by Ceri Wheeldon

When facing retirement are we ever really ready?
Retirement presents an opportunity to ’relaunch’ our lives . It is important that you can be confident about your outlook and passionate about  what lies ahead.

Be realistic about how much you will need to live

When planning your retirement, set yourself a monthly budget equal to your projected  retirement income and try to live on it. Be realistic about  what your monthly expenditure is likely to be. You may be spending less on commuting daily , but you will have more leisure time and increased socialising normally means more expense! Not to mention that you will now have the time for all that travelling you didn’t quite get round too.

Think about the ‘benefits’ you may be losing such as private health cover and  life insurance- if these have been funded by your employer you will need to check out the costs of buying the cover privately.

Make sure you have a complete picture of your financial situation

Make sure you have a complete picture of your financial situation- ask for current figures on your pension plans to have a realistic picture of what level of income your current pension  will deliver. Worryingly according to the Office of National Statistics It seems that the average pot for 56 year old women living in the UK stands at only £9,100.  This would generate an approximate income of around only  £550 a year.

Recent changes to pension legislation also mean that women have to wait longer before being eligible to draw their state pension,  women’s state pension age rises to 65 by November 2018, and then to 66 by 6 April 2020.

 If  you realise that you can’t really afford to fully retire as planned, look at the options available to you- do you want to work part-time?  93% of the new jobs created in the last 12 months are part-time  so in theory this should work to your advantage.

If you need to lo for full-time employment are your skills up to date?  Do you need to attend any training courses- have you budgeted for these? Are there any evening classes you can attend to fill any skills gap you feel you may have?
Also, once you reach state pension age you cease to pay national insurance contributions, giving you an extra opportunity to save!

Have you always had a yearning to be your own boss? Now could be the time to set up your own business.  Statistics show that more businesses set up by the over 50s succeed  than businesses founded by the under 30s .

It’s never to early to start planning for retirement!

Ceri Wheeldon

Ceri is Founder and Editor of Fabafterfifty.co.uk She is a frequent speaker at events and in the media on topics related to women over 50 , including style and living agelessly. With 20+ years experience as a headhunter Ceri also now helps support those looking to extend their working lives.

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  1. Mary Waring

    January 12, 2012

    It’s never too early to start planning for retirement…I couldn’t agree more. The statistics which show that the average pension pot for a 56 year old female is £9,100 also shows that for a male the same age the average pot is almost 6 times as large. (yes, SIX!)
    Women look after the house, look after the kids, look after the husband etc, but don’t think about looking after themselves. I know from some of my clients that by they time they realise the position they’re in, it’s too late to do anything to correct it.
    Remember ladies, A man is not a financial plan!

    • Ceri Wheeldon

      January 12, 2012

      Thank you Mary, we all have to think hard about our financial futures- especially as we are living longer. Love your expression, ‘a man is not a financial plan’!

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