Unless you work in a specific career such as the police, fire service, or in the military, for example, you won’t usually have to retire when you reach a certain age. However, for many, retirement is something to look forward to, even if it isn’t what you have to do. After all, it is a chance to rest and enjoy your free time. You can slow down and relax more, start a new hobby, and do all the things you have been planning for a long time.
If you do plan to retire, you will need to think about several different things in plenty of time so that you can implement them if necessary. Here are some of the ways you can start to get ready for your retirement, no matter when it comes or why you choose to take it.
Your Retirement Income
Before you can really think about any other plans and know what you can and can’t do in your retirement, you will need to know what your retirement income will be. You might have a private pension, and you will easily be able to find out what the yield on that will be for you. You can also calculate your 401(K) and your investments and savings.
Think about any other pensions you might have had in the past as well. If you have changed jobs a number of times, there could be others that are still valid, and that might be a substantial amount.
Your property is a potential asset that could make you comfortable in retirement, so you might want to get a valuation on it to see how much it is worth and what would be left over if you were to pay off your mortgage and downsize to something smaller. Don’t just look at selling your property through traditional methods either; this can take a long time. If you want to sell quickly when you are ready, check out the details of a company that can do this for you; it could be ideal.
It can be tempting to risk your money in investments, gambling, or even in starting a business, but this can be a bad idea. Taking too much of a risk could mean that you lose any money you have put aside, making your retirement difficult, if not impossible. You might have to keep working for much longer than you intended.
If you do want to invest in anything, make sure you only invest a sum of money that you could afford to lose. You might well make a good return on it, and that will be helpful in retirement, but if you don’t and you lose too much, it will be extremely hard.
Budget For Changes
Something that you will need to bear in mind is that when you retire, you will no longer be receiving the income you once were. This means that, if you don’t budget for these changes sooner rather than later, you could find that you are unable to pay your important bills from one month to the next.
Knowing what you want to do in retirement is crucial at this point; you’ll know what you need to fund your plans, as well as what you will need to live from day to day. You might even discover that you will need a part-time job, and you could start to think about what that could be, depending on your skills and your abilities.
Clear Your Debts
The last thing anyone will want to do is to enter retirement with debts left over from when they were working. Although you might have easily been able to pay them with a regular salary coming in, a retirement income – often much less than you were being paid through your job – might not cover them.
It is important to pay off your debts before you retire so that you don’t have to worry about them and can enjoy your time away from work more. Clearing debts is not always easy, but there is a system that you can follow that will help you:
• How much debt do you have? This is where you need to start. Calculate what is left to pay on credit cards, your mortgage, loans, or anything else that you owe.
• Take a look at the interest rates linked to each separate debt. Some will be higher than others, and you might be surprised at the rates you have been paying.
• Start by paying off larger amount of the debt with the higher interest; over time this will save you the most money. • Try consolidating your debts if there is not enough time to pay everything off.
When Can You Retire?
As mentioned above, some professions have prescribed retirement dates, and you will know them from the moment you start working. Others will leave it to you to decide. So when are you going to retire? Once you know, you can speak to your employer about what can be done.
One option is that you can stop working full time and start working part-time, and gradually decrease what you are doing in stages. This could be the best way to determine exactly what you need in terms of your retirement income.
Be Emotionally Prepared
There are many practical things to do before retirement, as we’ve detailed above. However, something that should never be forgotten is the emotional impact that comes with leaving a job you have worked in for many years. It can be hard, especially if you are stopping due to the professional retirement age coming due.
You might feel scared about what comes next, or worried that you won’t be able to fill your days the way you used to. This makes sense; it is a big change and a big step. The best way to look at things is to think of your retirement as a new adventure, and a different part of your life. If you truly miss working, you can go back to part-time work; you can do as much or as little as you like.