For over-50s, retirement is just around the proverbial corner. No matter how much (or how little) thought you’ve given to your post-career years, you’ll want to keep these five tips in mind as the next phase of your life approaches.
1.Lay Out Where You’d Like to Be in 10 Years — Literally, if that helps: lying on a beach in the Costa del Sol, perhaps, or tucked away in a cosy Penzance cottage. Spend an afternoon visualising in general terms your golden years: the type of home you’d like to keep, the location of your primary residence, the social activities and hobbies you’d like to pursue, the ‘bucket list’ items you’d like to attain once and for all. These and other broad-strokes goals will help guide your financial planning in the run-up to your career’s end.
2. Hold a Garden Sale — For many over-50s, ‘downsizing’ is the buzzword of the day. There’s a clear logic at work here: when the kids are aged out of the family home and it’s just you, (perhaps) your partner, and the dog, a drafty three-bedroom house can feel quite lonely. You don’t have to move out of your home in a hurry; you’ve all the time in the world. If you suspect that a transition into a smaller living environment is in your future, however, one concrete step you can take in the early going is to host a garden sale that sees your seldom-used possessions sold off to the highest bidder.
3. Use a Pension Calculator to Estimate Your Retirement Income — Have you an idea of what you stand to earn in retirement? If not, use a free U.K. pension calculator to estimate your income during your later years. Bear in mind that this value may change as your retirement date approaches.
4.Consider Working With an Investment Adviser — A recent study by a U.S.-based employee benefits organisation found that savers who worked with investment or financial advisers had more confidence in their employer pension schemes than savers without advisers. If you have not already done so, consider working with an investment adviser to devise a plan for the remainder of your working years. Consulting an adviser does not guarantee any particular outcome, of course.
5. Set Aspirational Lifestyle or Professional Goals for Your Golden Years — Have you always wanted to spend a fortnight in India? Publish a romance novel? Devise a new consumer product? You’ll have more time to do what you please in retirement. Identify at least one aspirational goal to attempt during your later years, then spend a few hours each month in planning so that you’re ready to begin in earnest as soon as you’ve put in your notice. Budget out your aspiration’s likely cost, too, and set aside small sums from each remaining paycheque.
Remember Your Risk Appetite
Savers of all ages would do well to remember one final bit of pre-retirement advice: only take those risks for which you have the appetite. Remember that investment opportunities which sound too good to be true oftentimes are just that. As you well know, closing the door on your career need not mean foreclosing your ability to engage in productive labour during your ‘retirement.’ But you don’t want to spend the latter part of your life making up for lost time, either.