Whether you’re young or old, close to retirement or far away, planning for it should start as early as possible because this will give you the greatest chance of achieving the lifestyle you desire.

I work with lots of people in their 40s and 50s who come to me because they have received a letter from their pension company and it has prompted them to wonder when they might be able to retire. A lot of them are not satisfied in their job and have got to the point where they want a rest. 

Many people come to see me thinking we will talk about different types of retirement products and investments and we do eventually. But I always start with this question….. “What would you like retirement to look like?”

Most people will usually say they want to retire at 65 and when asked why, they are not really sure. It’s probably because it’s always been this symbolic age when you used to get your government State Pension. Well times have changed and the rules on qualifying for the State Pension are different. You may not get it at 65 anymore.

But apart from that, the majority of people have thought very little about the lifestyle they want in retirement.

Before any other retirement planning… do this

The problem is nowadays life is so busy. We have to work harder than ever in our jobs to keep up with the competition. That’s before we start our second job as taxi driver and banker to our children. Mobile phones are glued to us and there are distractions everywhere. Before you know it you’re going to retire but with no clue what to do next.

No matter how busy you are, retirement planning needs to start now and the first thing you need to do is simple. Just think about the life you want. Yes that’s it. Just sit down and think.

Try this:

  1. Think about what you have enjoyed about your life so far and what you have hated.
  2. What have you always wanted to try, where have you always wanted to visit?
  3. Do you love what you do? Do you want to stop? There’s nothing to say you have to retire and stop working.
  4. Talk things through with your partner, it’s important you both know where each other stand and can find compromise.
  5. Thinking about retirement should be a regular occurrence so make notes each time and see if your mind changes. It’s always good to sleep on ideas and see if you still feel the same.

Proper retirement planning can change everything

You see, by thinking about retirement and doing your retirement planning early it changes everything.

It will influence:

  • When you can retire.
  • How much you need to save for retirement.
  • What investment strategy is best for your retirement and how much risk to take.

Some people have a goal to just maintain what they have now in retirement and this is fine if you enjoy your lifestyle and have no regrets. But please don’t be someone who doesn’t live their life to the full because they never really knew what they wanted. We only have one chance at life. Don’t build up all your wealth just to pass it on to the next generation.  

If you would like help chatting through what you want out of retirement and how to achieve it then please give us a call and we would be happy to show you what’s possible. Our 6-point Planning Checklist will also help.

Risk warning:

Stock market linked investments and any income from them, can fall as well as rise and is not guaranteed. Any figures quoted are for illustrative purposes and should not be taken as a forecast or guarantee. Past performance should not be seen as an indication of future returns and clients may get back less than they have invested.