As we age, retirement seems like a prosperous time of our lives. We think of freedom, a life without having to work, and a lot of potential for us to do the things we didn’t have time (or the money) to do when we were younger. However, there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to retirement; all of us have our own requirements and dreams. Before you retire though, you need to ensure you’re happy, healthy and financially stable – otherwise, you won’t be able to enjoy this time of your life you’ve been blissfully looking forward to.
If you’re on the edge of retiring but are unsure whether it’s time, here are six questions you need to ask before doing so.
What is Your Retirement Lifestyle?
By lifestyle, we mean, what do you wish to do during your time off. Do you want to travel to countries you’ve never visited before, start a business or even do nothing at all? Perhaps you want to give back to the community, and if so, you need to see what parts of the community you wish to focus on. By defining the type of retirement you want to have, this can help you decide on your retirement budget, where you wish to based, as well as ensuring you spend your retirement doing exactly what you wish to do.
Do You Still Have a Mortgage to Pay Off?
If you still need to pay off your home, this can take up a large sum of your retirement fund. It can also cause a lot of stress during a time that should be relaxing. You could, for example, have budgeted for the mortgage payments, or, you can look at repaying your existing mortgage via an equity release. The latter is available to homeowners aged between 55 and 95, and those who have a property worth £70,000 onwards.
What is Your Health Like?
Sometimes, poor health can get the better of us, and end up defining what it is we can do. Ensure you schedule regular check-ups so that you can keep on top of anything that may seem out-of-the-ordinary, and by taking preventative care, hopefully you’ll be able to live a healthy and long retirement.
When Should You Collect Social Security?
Ultimately, the later, the better, when it comes to your social security. See how long you can go without it, and even work out in advance with your budgeting, and determine when you may need to collect it. However, overall, the longer you wait, the more beneficial your social security will be to you and your family.
Do You Still Need to Work?
Not all of us can live off our pension, and sometimes we may have to return to work. Work out how much money you have, what you want to do and whether, realistically, you need to start working again. This could be through freelancing, which allows for more freedom and flexibility. You can work remotely, and what’s more, if you always have money to the side, freelancing can just be a top-up to the money you already have saved.
Do You Have (or Need) a Retirement Budget?
Having enough money to do whatever we wish is the dream, but the reality is that not all (or many of us) are able to live our retirement without boundaries. Calculate how much money is going out each month, and from there, see how much money you have to play with. By having a budget for weekly groceries and including your car payments, you won’t be surprised when your pension fund may be looking a little dry.
Retirement can be one of the best times of a person’s life, but there is also the risk of not having enough money to get by. Of course, pensions are made for us to enjoy our old age, but in reality, they don’t get us far. So, preventative measures should be made, so that you and your family can have peace of mind.