Get retirement ready – now!

Get retirement ready – now!

It might seem some way away still, but preparing for retirement is a smart and savvy move that your future self will thank you for. Here’s how…

It might seem some way away still, but preparing for retirement is a smart and savvy move that your future self will thank you for. Here’s how…

It’s often said that the best way to view retirement is not as an ending, but as a beginning – a beginning of a whole new chapter in your life.

If you consider the average life expectancy for men and women is now well into the nineties, this means you’re about to have a lot of time on your hands. And, if you want to enjoy it to the full, it pays to be prepared.

“It’s important to start planning and preparing for your senior years as early as possible, to ensure later life is as fulfilling as possible,” explains Phil Richards from the Centre for Ageing Better.

Here are some things to think about:

What you want to do with your new-found freedom

Do you want to travel, volunteer, study or learn a new skill? Take up a new hobby or get more involved with a current interest? If so, do you need to start saving, or researching education options or local opportunities? Planning ahead will mean you can hit the ground running when you finally finish work.

Look at your home

If it feels bigger than it needs to be, maybe you’d like to downsize and free up some cash. Or perhaps you’d prefer to move nearer to grown-up children.

“Living in suitable housing, in a neighbourhood that’s age-friendly and with a supportive community can improve your health and wellbeing, help you socially, and make you feel in control,” says Phil.

However, all these things take time, so start making plans now.

Get your finances in order

Look at your mortgage (if you have one), pension(s) and savings. Visit a financial adviser to get expert advice on how to make sure you’ll be financially comfortable – and have enough money to do all the exciting things you want to do once you retire.

Take care of your health

If you don’t already do some form of exercise, now’s the time to start, whether that’s joining a running club or doing something gentle, like Pilates or yoga.

“As we get older, improving our physical and mental health is key,” advises Phil. “Especially maintaining and improving muscle strength and balance, which can reduce the risk of falls as well as help you to stay independent – two things that will be invaluable in later life.”

Another area you should be even more vigilant with looking after is your oral health. As you age, your enamel can thin and your gums become more susceptible to infection, so take good care of them with Oral-B Gum and Enamel Repair toothpaste.

Make new friends

Your social circle can shrink when you leave the workplace, so join some local groups or clubs – even invite your neighbours round for coffee occasionally.

“Taking part in voluntary activities, formal civic roles and even small acts of neighbourliness can all contribute significantly to your personal wellbeing, not to mention your social life,” explains Phil. Great new friends could be just around the corner – literally!

Got any handy retirement-planning tips of your own? We’d love to hear them! Please comment below.

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