How to plan for retirement
Retirement should be a happy time – the chance to relax, enjoy a new freedom and new adventures. But there are financial and emotional considerations too. To avoid the pitfalls, you should start planning for retirement as soon as you can. If you’re looking for retirement advice then this simple five step guide will help you to navigate common conundrums so that you can plan the retirement lifestyle you deserve.
1. Set retirement goals
Before you start planning for retirement, think about what you actually want for your future. Imagine what you’d like to be doing during your retirement. Can you see yourself living by the sea, by your family – or by a golf course? Do you want to travel the world or hike your way around the UK? Learn a new language or write your first novel? What age would you like to retire at? And what kind of retirement home do you see yourself living in? Write down a list of goals and use them as a reference point for your retirement plan.
2. Think about when you can retire in the UK
To start your retirement plan, first work out the age you’d like to – or can afford to – retire. The idea that there is a set age for retirement has changed dramatically in recent years. Employers are no longer allowed to force you to retire at 65, so in theory you can carry on working indefinitely if you want to. Meanwhile, the State Pension age has also risen so that people born after the 5 April 1960 will now receive their pension at the age of 67, and this will be rising to 68 in the near future. You can check the age you can except to receive your state pension on the government’s State Pension Checker. Conversely, since 2016, personal pensions can be accessed earlier. From the age of 55 you can withdraw all of your private pension pot in cash and 25 per cent of that is tax free – although you should be wary of accessing your fund before you need to. Depending on your stage of life, you can either choose your ideal retirement age and work towards it. Or you can look at your financial planning for retirement and pinpoint an age that you can afford to retire with the lifestyle you want.
3. Decide where to retire in the UK
As you get closer to retirement you’ll also want to consider where you want to retire in the UK. Could this be the perfect time to realise a lifelong ambition to move to the coast or the countryside? Should you release equity – and lessen maintenance stress – by downsizing? You’ll also want to think about future-proofing your life, choosing a home that will adapt to suit your needs as you get older. Finding the right retirement community and retirement property makes a huge difference to health, wellbeing and happiness as we age. McCarthy Stone offers a range of retirement communities, from independent living through our beautiful retirement bungalows and Retirement Living apartments for the over 60s, to retirement villages and assisted living for the over 70s with our gorgeous apartments at Retirement Living PLUS developments. We also offer flexible moving in options – which include buying, renting, part buy, part rent and shared ownership – meaning we have attractive retirement homes for all budgets and personal preferences.
4. Prepare emotionally for retirement
Often overlooked, preparing emotionally for retirement is an important part of your planning for retirement. While many of us dream of giving up work and enjoying a life filled with less stress and on-demand lie-ins, the reality can come as quite a shock. Many people feel they lose their sense of purpose as well as the social interaction and structure that comes with a job. The solution is to fill your time with things you enjoy. Carole Ann Rice, one of the UK’s leading life coaches suggests that retired people should maintain “a routine, including times for waking, eating and sleeping. Set the alarm at a decent hour: You don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn, but if you wake up late every day, you’ll lose structure. Many people find it useful to keep a diary of events… actively seek to have an interesting week ahead of you.”
Five ways to prepare emotionally for retirement
- Think about starting a new hobby – or even a new business
- Expand your friendship circles by joining clubs and societies
- Volunteering will help you to maintain your sense of purpose
- Plan travel adventures – in the UK or around the world
- Ensure you build in a regular fitness routine to yourself keep strong and healthy
5. Cost up your retirement plan
Thinking about your retirement income and budget is a key part of preparing for retirement. First, you’ll need to understand how much pension you can expect, as well as any other income, then you can make a financial plan for your future by working out your outgoings. You might also want to explore care home costs and assisted living costs in the UK, so you know what to expect if you need more help in later life. Set out a budget for day-to-day living - food, utility bills etc. - but don’t forget to add a buffer for things like household maintenance, car expenses, pet care and clothing. Next decide on your budget for luxuries, like holidays, hobbies and outings. You’ll also want to set aside an amount to cover unexpected bills. Find more detailed advice on creating a financial plan for retirement.
How can we help your plan to retire?
If you are thinking about buying – or renting – one of our lovely retirement homes, our expert teams can help you to plan for the financial side of your move. We’ll explain what you’ll get for your money, how we can help you make your retirement budget work for you and the support we can offer – including help with claiming money you might be entitled to – before you make a move.
Did you know? Due to typically lower energy bills plus cheaper maintenance and running costs, a McCarthy Stone retirement home could save you over £2,300 a year*!
Any questions? Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you.
*Typical net saving when running a McCarthy Stone Retirement Living apartment when compared to the cost of running a typical home is £2,312 per year. Source: Internal research carried out by McCarthy Stone, 2022.