Around 28 percent of those nearing retirement age claim to be unprepared for such a massive life change, with most citing inadequate financial planning as the main reason for being anxious about leaving the workforce.
Many of us don't feel ready for retirement, even when we're well into our 60s and 70s, but even though we're not quite ready to make the leap, doesn't mean we can't start planning. The more prepared we are, the more likely we'll find the transition between structured routine and complete freedom more easy, enjoyable and stress-free.
Here are 3 ways to help you plan for your upcoming retirement:
1. Consider Your Finances
In the UK, the maximum state pension amounts to just £110.15 per week.
Of course, if you have either a private pension plan, or were enrolled in an employer scheme, you will receive more than the base amount, but it's no secret that many older people struggle financially during retirement, getting accustomed to reining in the spending now that they're not receiving a full income.
If you're worried about the financial aspect of retirement (it's reported that approximately 41 percent of retirees are concerned they will outlive their available funds), it may be worth checking out what grants you may be entitled to to help you with everyday necessities.
For example, you may be entitled to personal independence payments if you suffer with certain health conditions that affect day-to-day life, and you may also be eligible for wheelchair, handrail, or stairlift grants which make mobility assistance much more cost effective.
2. Make a Will
Shockingly, more than half of all adults in the UK have not made a will and of those who have, 10 percent did not make these arrangements until they were of retirement age.
Admittedly, the prospect of making a will is a bit morbid and in today's society where we're living longer, healthier lives than ever before, there is certainly no association between retirement and our final days, but making a will doesn't have to be about death. It's actually more about cataloging your possessions and ensuring that plans are in place to provide financial support for your family while you're living off a pension.
For example, through your will, you can arrange to put aside a portion of your earnings for your children's' (or grandchildren's') education and can also ensure your family won't need to pay full inheritance tax on any property.
3. Plan to Have Fun!
One of the most important aspects of planning for a happy retirement is to make sure you have fun! Retirement is a major life change. (in fact, it's ranked as the 10th most stressful life event on the Holmes and Rahe scale) and the lack of regular routine, and income, can take some getting used to.
Before you retire, you may wish to check out what discounts and free activities are available for retirees in your local area. For example, those within England are entitled to free bus travel all around the country, while senior railcards can make it easy to travel and enjoy city breaks and days out to the coast.
Other bonuses include a free TV license for the over 75s, so you can watch as much Coronation Street as you wish without having to pay a penny, and you can also find discounts at museums, theme parks, and other attractions up and down the country, so it's easy, and cost-effective, to spend more time with your grandchildren.
As we've looked at, a shockingly low number of Brits are financially prepared for their retirement, and the big question is – why aren't these people making arrangements for them and their families, during their retirement years?
The answer is simple. There remains a link between retirement and death. However, while it is true that, hundreds of years ago, as a nation, we weren't living much more than 60 years, if lucky, the association between retirement and death is very, very outdated. In fact, it's being reported that the state pension age will soon be rising to 70 years because we're just refusing to give up! Retirement is no longer seen as an opportunity to get affairs in order, it's seen as a new, exciting chapter in life.
It's well worth making plans, financially and otherwise, to help you make the most of these glorious years, free of 6 am starts, strict 30-minute lunch breaks, and difficult customers and clients!
This guest post is supplied by Acorn Stairlifts. Stairlifts created by Acorn Stairlifts are some of the most popular mobility devices currently on the market, and we're dedicated to providing high-quality assistance for the elderly, disabled, and mobility impaired.