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After years of working long hours, for what seems like an eternity, retirement is on the horizon. But, and this is a pretty daunting question to ask anyone, have you considered how you want to enjoy the next chapter in your life? Before you decide, here are 7 handy things to reflect on which could help you enjoy later life even more…

  1. What’s my income?

This may sound like stating the obvious but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t actually know! You can work out your income by getting a State Pension Statement or a defined benefit pension as well as adding up your savings and investments. Don’t forget to trace any lost pensions too!

  1. Retirement is not what it used to be

Many people don’t retire when they reach a certain age any longer. Half of you are probably cursing at the computer screen reading that, but we guarantee the other half are probably nodding away in agreement. If you have a job you love, why stop? Plus, did you know that delaying your retirement by just a few years can lead to a significantly bigger income in your later life? It lets your pension fund gain more value, results in a higher state pension and if you are buying an annuity it could also ensure you obtain a better rate. Bonus!

  1. Debt free is the way to be!

It goes without saying that you want to enter this exciting new chapter with as little debt as possible. Your income is likely to decrease so any fixed repayments will seem to take a bigger chunk from it. We advise you to add up how much you owe, then check the interest rate you are paying on each one – if you can pay off the debt that charges the highest interest rate first you’ll save precious pennies in the long-run!

  1. Budget for spending changes

You’ll have spent most of your life budgeting your money, but when you do eventually leave work (if you haven’t already) it is sure to bring some big changes to your lifestyle. Fewer early mornings, for a start! While spending may go down in some areas, it could go up in others – and of course your monthly income will be different. Work out what the changes are so that you can stay living a comfortable lifestyle moving forward.

  1. Boost your pension

Right, so you’ve looked at your pension and might have been slightly disappointed with the amount which stared back at you? You might want to find a way to boost it and one way, of course, is to start paying more into it while you are still in work. The sooner you do this, the larger the amount you will have to retire on. Winner!

 

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask

Some of these are pretty big decisions which may shape your income for the rest of your life so we definitely advise seeking some professional financial advice. There are some great organisations out there, such as the Money Advice Service, who will be more than happy to talk you through your options. And best of all? It’s totally free and confidential!

  1. Thought of selling up?

Do you really need that four bedroomed house now that the kids have flown the nest? There’s a lot of money tied up in those bricks which could be used to add to your pension pot and pay off any debts. Plus, you’ll have more money to enjoy the finer things in life! One option you might like to explore is Bromford’s retirement living homes which are purposely built to cater for all types of lifestyles and aspirations! We’re currently building in Stourport and Banbury and these developments, built exclusively for over 55s, truly combine the best of both worlds – a host of community facilities as well as care and support should you need it. Check them out!

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