Post by Nick Brahim
Reaching retirement age should mean thoughts filled with how you’ll spend your days now that you are free from the shackles of employment. This is your time in the sun, your opportunity to finally do and try those many things you have not been able to because of other commitments.
However, if you truly hope to enjoy your second act, you need to ensure you’ve planned your finances properly both today and for the future. With the right planning and preparation, you can hope to enjoy your golden years without burdensome monetary pressures.
Read on to find out some of the most important things you need to consider when approaching retirement age.
Choose when you want to retire
Nowadays, retirement does not automatically happen when you reach a certain age. People are living longer and healthier lives, with many continuing to work well beyond state pension age. However, if you decide to take early retirement, it’s important to remember that you may receive a smaller pension. You will want to carefully calculate your income and expenses, taking into consideration the lifestyle you hope to live once retired. No one wants to find themselves living a retirement in which they cannot afford to do those things they have always wanted. For those who plan to work beyond retirement age, National Insurance no longer needs to be paid and you can delay drawing your state pension, which gives you a larger sum when you do decide to quit working.
Choose where you want to retire
Opting to retire abroad means you have to notify the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) of where you plan to live in order to claim your state pension. By the same token, give your private pension provider the same details so they can transfer your cash into your new bank account. It also pays to check the tax regime in the country you’re moving to. Taxable lump sum amounts can vary from place to place as well as the local taxes on income, property, and such.
Choose a funeral plan
For most pensioners, every penny counts – which is why buying a funeral plan now offers a cost-effective method for those worried about their future finances or leaving the burden of funeral costs on a loved one. Investing in a funeral plan means your service is arranged and paid for in advance at today’s prices, with the funeral director, cars and flowers etc. taken care of before the time comes. Having this addressed ahead of time can remove one significant detail in an already difficult time for your family.
Let the benefits choose you
For pensioners, there are numerous added benefits of being an ‘experienced’ member of society. From a free bus pass and senior railcards to cheaper healthcare and a free television licence, it pays to be in your golden years! Keep your eyes open for discounts and specials offered exclusively to seniors. In addition, check if you’re eligible for pension credit to top up your basic state pension and make sure you’re registered to claim the Winter Fuel Payment.