Not all of us want to think about getting older, I can understand that. The wrinkles can start to form, our energy levels can start to dwindle, and we can often associate retirement with being the end of our life. However, this is far from the truth and getting older doesn’t have to be some scary prospect or a future we just don’t want to plan for. Many people refer to the retirement period as their golden chapter in their lives. The time where they can take on new hobbies, see the world and relax a little. But how do you think retirees afford all that? After all, the wages will be gone, and theoretically there is only a small amount coming in each month. This is when future planning could be one of the best decisions you make.
Planning for the future doesn’t have to be a negative process. It is a fact of life that as each day passes we are day closer and so instead, it really is worth embracing that period of your life and actually getting excited about what you might do. Sure you might love your career right now, but it isn’t forever. With that in mind, I wanted to share with you some of the ways you can plan for the future. Enabling you to get excited about what is to come. It could be one of the best decisions you make.
Let’s think about the financial side of things
It is time to start thinking about the financial side of things, and that means planning for how you are going to fund your lifestyle. Right now, you may be used to having a wage each month and living a certain standard in life. But once you retire that goes away, so what are you left with? Of course, everyone is entitled to a state pension, but these days that really doesn’t provide the quality of life that you are possibly already used to. So it might be worth spending a little time now to ensure that you have a means of funding a life you are happy to live once you enter retirement.
Pensions and money to live off
Pensions are one of the most common forms of funding your life once you leave the workplace and no longer have a monthly wage. Many employers nowadays have to offer a workplace pension that is basic, but helps to fund your life in the later years. But, many people look into private pensions and pay into them each month as well as these can be very lucrative. Enabling you to take out a lump sum when you retire or hit a certain age threshold, and still enjoy a monthly amount to help subsidise your lifestyle. Pensions require action now as the earlier you do them and start paying into them, the better off you will be in the future. Often the amounts are small, which means it is a monthly amount that you are likely not to miss.
Buying a house now could really help in the future
Property is another way that you can ensure some funds in your later years and retirement, and acting now means that you are in a better position to have paid off any debts and mortgages that are associated with it. Buying a house can be the biggest purchase you make in a lifetime, and paying a mortgage each month may seem steep right now, but in the future you can eventually become mortgage free and this will then help to fund your lifestyle. What most people do is try and work their way up the property ladder while working and raising a family. Getting bigger and more expensive homes that increase in value, or even making home improvements to them so that their value rises. Once you get to the point where you are retiring, and your children have left home, you can then consider downsizing. Buying a smaller place outright and then using any additional profit to fund your lifestyle, this can be something you do instead of pension plans or as an addition. Most people tend to have both because of paying into a work pension, which means that in the future you could really enjoy the time you have. If you find that you don’t want to leave your home in the future, or move into a smaller property, there are other ways you can utilise the profit and value in your home. Things like equity release could enable you to take a lump sum from your home’s value, and then enjoy the rewards that way. However, once the property is sold, that money will need to be paid back as part of the sales process.
Covering yourself with life and burial insurances
No one likes to discuss what might happen when they are no longer around. Especially with close family and friends. But, it is realistic to think that at some point you won’t be around, and helping your family have a smooth transition could be one of the best things you do. This is when paying into life insurance plans or financial investments into things like funeral costs, could ease the process of handling a death in the family. One of the first things to think about could be Burial Insurance Plans where the plan then takes care of things like funeral costs, outstanding debts and other costs that may occur when you are no longer around. Life insurance policies tend to be bought and paid into when you purchase a home, to help cover the expenses of the debt should anything happen to you that was unforeseen. After all, life can be too short and we really don’t know what is around the corner. These can then offer a lump sum on payout, which can help toward spaying off outstanding debts and easing the transition period. What any one of us want to do in this situation is to make it as easy as we can on close family and friends, and paying into insurance policies to cover those costs can be one of the best things you do.
What might you do with the time you have?
While thinking about finances and insurance policies may sound a little morbid to you, they are essential to ensure that you have the quality of life that you deserve when you hit retirement age. Working all of this time must equate to something, and it’s time for you to have some fun and enjoy the time you have. Which brings me nicely onto the next point about planning for your future. What might you do with the time you have? Many of us have gruelling work schedules of getting in the office for nine and leaving at five. Some people may work longer hours or have more stressful jobs, so hitting retirement age means that you suddenly have a heck of a lot of that time back. Planning what you might want to do may even motivate you to make the financial decisions that perhaps you have been avoiding. After all, you need to be able to pay for it. Here are some of the ways you can plan for the future.
Do you have a bucket list?
A lot of people have some form of bucket list these days, don’t they? They know what they want to do with their lives, where they want to go, the places they want to see and the experiences they desperately want to have. A bucket list is a great idea for the future as well as trying to live by it now, as it gives you a sense of purpose for what might you do in retirement. You could consider traveling further afield than you ever have before. Saving for that once in a lifetime holiday. Perhaps a cruise around the world may enable you to see parts of the world you never thought possible. Making the memories. It might be to experience eating food in some of the finest establishments in different countries. Maybe even experiencing some of the great wonders of the world like the Great Wall Of China, or witnessing the Northern Lights, for example. Whatever it may be, take some time to note down where you might want to go.
Hobbies and spending time doing things you enjoy
Finally, now that you have some extra time on your hands what else could you do? Yes travel might be important but you won’t be spending each day doing that. You may have grandchildren to spend time with and enjoy, or use the time wisely to catch up with other friends and family. However, a great thing to consider would be to try some new hobbies. Or potentially pick up on hobbies you don’t have time for earlier in your life. It can be a great way to socialise with like-minded individuals and can form part of your new daily routine. It can also help you to keep exercising and moving, looking after your health and well-being in the process.
I hope that this has encouraged you to start planning for the future.