How to plan for a comfortable and fulfilling retirement, from organising your finances to taking care of your health.
Retiring comfortably is the goal for many people. Once you get to your 50s, it’s crucial that you start making plans to help you achieve the goals you have for retirement. Whether you plan to kick back and relax, travel the world, or spend time with family, you will need to be healthy, both financially and physically, to get the most out of your golden years.
Preparing for retirement can take a lot of work. There are many unknowns when it comes to retirement, so it is worth considering as many eventualities as possible to help ensure you can live your best life after retirement.
Save As Much As Possible
It is crucial that you contribute as much as you can throughout your working life to your retirement fund. As you reach your 50s, it is a good idea to start building up your emergency fund in addition to your retirement pot. This will allow you to afford any unexpected expenses or fund spontaneous trips and activities once you retire.
Prepare For Changing Mobility
Many of us will experience some change in mobility after retirement. It is a good idea to mentally prepare for any changes early on and start to do what you can to mitigate potential mobility issues. You can do this by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and eating well.
Consider A Holiday Home
A holiday home can be a great way to diversify your investment portfolio, save money on holidays and earn cash from rental income. Buying a holiday home in your 50s allows you to get the mortgage paid off before you retire and leave you with the perfect second home for getaways during your retirement. Consider finding a property in an area you and your family love to visit.
If you want to make the most out of renting the property to other holidaymakers when you’re not using it yourself, ensure it is close to local tourist attractions. For instance, a property by the beach, a national park or a famous city could be ideal. Managing a rental holiday property can be time-consuming, so ensure you know what you’re getting yourself into, both financially and in maintenance and effort.
Adapt Your Home
Adapting your family home to suit potential mobility issues in the future can be beneficial. It’s best to do so in your 50s so that you can get used to any changes and feel comfortable if or when you need to change how you live in your home.
For instance, you could consider extending your home so that you can fit an additional bedroom and bathroom downstairs. This will be beneficial if there comes a time when you can’t use stairs easily. Similarly, you could install grab rails and handles around the home and make the property wheelchair accessible.
Reduce Your Debt
It’s best to reduce your debt as much as possible before retirement. This is something you should start thinking about in your 50s or even earlier. Consider your mortgage along with any loans and credit cards you have.
It may help to try and consolidate your debts, either through a loan or by refinancing your home. This can help you take advantage of lower interest rates and better repayment terms, making it quicker and easier to repay your debts in good time. It’s a good idea to talk to a professional financial planner or advisor about the best way to consolidate your debts.
It can be beneficial to ease into retirement. A good way to do this is to gradually reduce your working hours in the years running up to your retirement, provided you have enough money to live comfortably during this time. It can be a shock to the system to go from working full-time to retirement, and many people struggle to find ways to fill all of their sudden free time. Making the transition a slower one can be the perfect way to make it easier.
Take Care Of Your Teeth
A common complaint of many older people is that they didn’t take good enough care of their teeth throughout their younger and middle-aged years. Fortunately, it’s never too late to get the straight, healthy teeth you’ve always wanted.
One excellent solution could be clear teeth aligners that allow you to improve the shape of your teeth when worn overnight. You could also consider clear braces if your teeth require more work. You can find out more about the cost of braces in the UK from this excellent article by Straight My Teeth.
Get Into Good Exercise Habits
It’s helpful to get into good exercise habits early on – well before you retire. The stronger and fitter your body is when you reach retirement age, the better you will be able to enjoy all that retired life has to offer. Ideally, you should have good exercise habits from childhood, but if it’s been a while since you were active, then you can start to build your fitness level back up at any age.
It may help to start by getting into the habit of going for a walk daily. If you have a dog, this can be a great motivator to get you out of the house and on long walks. Consider walking for at least 30 minutes every day. You could also try some exercise classes or sign up to a local gym to help you work on your flexibility, strength and coordination.
Build Your Support System
Having a strong support system is crucial for retirement. Not only will having plenty of loved ones to visit help keep you occupied, but it can also help to have people there should you need help later in life. Many people find retirement to be a lonely time, and having a sound support system of friends and family can help ensure that your social circle doesn’t become too limited.
It’s a good idea to make new friends and connections throughout your life. You can do this in various ways, including by getting involved with a sports team, joining social clubs or volunteering your time.
Make Travel Plans
With retirement, you will finally have the time to travel as often and as long as you like. In the run-up to retirement, it may be a good idea to start considering where you want to go and visit. You could come up with a bucket list to work your way through with your partner or some close friends.
Decide Where You Want To Live
It is best to decide where you want your home base to be before you retire. This will enable you to make all of the preparations necessary to allow you to live comfortably when you retire. It’s best to consider where you will have the most support from friends and family and factor this into your decision. It may be best to stay in comfortable and familiar surroundings as you get older.
Preparing properly for retirement is crucial to ensure your later years are happy, healthy and secure. You should get your finances in order as soon as possible and work to reduce or eliminate any debts before you retire. It would help if you also considered how you will spend your time after retirement and do what you can to keep.