Top 10 Ways to Plan Your Retirement in the UK
Making retirement plans is a daunting task, yet it can be pretty rewarding if you plan well in advance. You can choose to remain employed or take up part-time work during your retirement years. The UK offers many options for retirees seeking a way of spending their golden days. Consulting retirement experts like Joslin Rhodes also helps considerably.
According to the latest official statistics from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), about 12% are retired. Not just this, the number is expected to increase in the future with life expectancy increasing and more people reaching retirement age every year. While it may seem like an exciting time, there are many factors to consider before taking on this new role.
Here are the top 10 ways that can help you plan your retirement in the UK:
Calculate the amount you'll need:
Once retired, your monthly income will no longer be coming in, and therefore you need to have a good understanding of how much money you are likely to require during this time. Start saving early on for your retirement, as the earlier you start the more time your savings can grow.
You can estimate a comfortable amount by multiplying the average cost of living by 20. However, taking inflation into account is recommended while making such calculations so that your income lasts throughout your life without running out during periods when prices may rise sharply.
Secure an annuity:
An annuity is a financial product that helps convert your pension pot into guaranteed monthly payments for life or until further notice if you become unwell or housebound. It is advisable to choose the highest annuity rate option for early retirement as you have more time to enjoy the guaranteed income and make new investment plans for spending during old age.
Plan ahead for healthcare costs:
Home care services are widely available in the UK to help elderly citizens stay at home for longer without full-time nursing support. At the same time, local authorities provide help with social care needs.
However, it is always better to be prepared by planning how future medical expenses will be paid and what level of living you would require in old age.
Watch out for inflation:
Real estate prices, costs of utilities, and other living costs rise with inflation. Therefore, it is always beneficial to opt for investments and savings to keep up with the cost of living, such as equity-linked products and cash deposit accounts.
Ensure a healthy lifestyle:
Your health problems in old age will often stem from an unhealthy lifestyle during your active years. Try not to suffer from any significant medical issues by taking good care of yourself while you are young enough to do so.
Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and quitting smoking must be kept top priority no matter what else you have on your plate.
Get necessary financial advice:
Getting some extra income before retirement can help set you up financially for the rest of your life when no one else's income is coming in after you have turned 60.
Getting professional advice from an independent financial adviser will help you understand the market better and help make an informed decision to choose the most suitable products for your needs.
Plan how to get around:
Loneliness is a common problem faced by many retirees in the UK. A simple way of getting back into the social circle is by planning activities that keep you close to other people all year round, such as taking up classes, joining clubs, or simply walking around in your local neighborhood regularly.
You could also take advantage of public transport with concessionary prices available for senior citizens in the UK on traveling buses, trains, and underground systems across major cities like London.
Buy a new home:
To enjoy hassle-free old age, it is advisable to move into a new home, especially if you live in an old one that needs constant maintenance. It helps cut down on the money you would otherwise spend on repairs and renovating your existing house.
Get ready for inheritance tax:
To avoid inheritance tax on your assets after death, it may be a good idea for married couples with children to make use of their nil-rate band. At the same time, they are alive rather than only having their assets pass onto their kids when there is no longer anyone around to enjoy them.
One option could be making full use of this exemption as each spouse dies or gifting away enough assets just before death so that the residue falls below the threshold limit.
Make sure you are paid all that you are owed:
Getting quick access to your pension savings when changing jobs can be a challenge in the UK. The fastest and easiest way of doing so is by opting for an early payment facility while submitting your termination documents at the office of your current employer.
Doing this can also provide you with some extra cash as a bonus for covering years of service left undone due to early retirement or job change.
Why is it important to plan retirement?
People who retire early in the UK can face several hardships as they are not used to the pension lifestyle. Therefore, it makes sense for them to plan retirement about their personal or professional goals and adjust their lifestyle accordingly while keeping different factors such as inflation, taxes, investments, and living costs in mind.
How to start saving for retirement?
The key to saving for a comfortable retirement is to start as early as possible in your career. It gives you sufficient time to build up enough wealth without putting in too much effort.
Even though it might be challenging to save something from your monthly income, if every person starts by setting aside just £50 per month towards their pension, the combined efforts of millions can make a massive difference over several years.
When should you start planning?
UK citizens have no mandatory retirement requirement at any particular age or time and are free to continue working till they turn 65-years-old. However, this does not mean that people should wait until then before thinking about how they would like their later years spent.
Ideally, people should begin planning as early as possible in their careers to enjoy their retirement best suited for them.
Create a budget
Start by creating a rough budget that outlines essential expenses such as housing, shopping, and utilities. Having the first draft of finances for your retirement income ready can help you decide whether to continue working or retire early.
If you choose to keep working after the age of 65, this will give you an idea of how many monthly savings will be required to accumulate enough wealth for retirement.
Create a plan
Saving for retirement is not much different from any other goal that requires financial investment. The best thing to do would be to figure out how much money should go into various assets over time so that your goals are achieved before retirement without sacrificing too much on comforts and luxuries in life.
Getting professional advice from a financial planner can help you build an asset-protection strategy for your retirement years.
Automatic transfers from the current account to a retirement fund
Regular automatic transfers from your current account into savings or investment accounts can be an easy way of ensuring that you save for retirement while not having to worry about forgetting monthly deposits.
Often, it may also be possible to arrange for regular deposits from your workplace directly into a retirement savings plan. It can mainly make sense if either of your employers offers matching contributions on the amount you put in.
The key point is keeping hard-earned money safe from everyday expenses. But short-term desires like holidays and buying new gadgets by building long-term safety through investing well enough today so that when tomorrow comes, there will be the peace of mind knowing one has done their best to see the years ahead with confidence.
The earlier people start to plan for retirement, the better it will be for them.
Creating an emergency account
Retirement should not be a time of dependency on others. It is essential to have enough money saved up and invested so that it can sustain you for at least six months in case of an emergency – such as a job loss or severe illness – when you are unable to work.
An emergency account should ideally consist of cash, insurance policies, stocks, bonds, and other liquid assets, which people can turn to if they need extra cash during hard times. Many financial experts believe that having access to one year's salary in savings is the absolute minimum amount of money required for anyone who wants to retire comfortably.
Having some form of employment even after retirement is another way individuals can stay financially independent longer into old age.
Pay down debt
Keeping debt levels low is one way of ensuring that enough money is available for savings and investment in later life. Allocating a portion of monthly retirement income to repay outstanding credit card debts, loans or mortgages can go a long way towards being financially independent during old age.
However, it's essential to strike a balance between repaying existing debts and investing enough to avoid leaving yourself cash-strapped in the future.
How much must you save?
The amount you will need to accumulate before stopping work depends on various factors such as your age, income, spending plans, and expected life expectancy. The younger you are, the more time your savings have to grow.
Therefore, it is better if people start as soon as possible so that their money has enough time to gain interest or appreciate until retirement.
However, individuals must always make pre-arrangements about how they would spend their wealth accumulated at the end of their career if there are no immediate heirs or family members who could take care of them after reaching old age.
What investment accounts should you use?
A meaningful way to ensure that savings for retirement are protected from inflation is to keep them in a mix of products that can help your money grow. It includes saving and investing in various kinds such as equity funds, mutual funds; real estate; gold, fixed deposits, or other debt instruments.
The key is not putting all the eggs into one basket because no matter how well you save, an investment portfolio without appropriate risk-management tools can expose your savings to unnecessary risk.
Meanwhile, it's also essential for individuals to be realistic about their post-retirement plans, such as living on their monthly income and spending the rest on holidays, shopping, helping children with financial problems, etc. These activities may look fun, but they can deplete your entire savings if you don't plan for them.
Building sound financial habits in one's early years and practicing good money management can significantly affect the level of wealth accumulated at the end of a career. Hence, young people have to start saving today to achieve financial independence later on regardless of income.
Where can you find help?
It is essential to bear in mind that retirement planning is a long-term commitment. It means that it might not be a good idea to make plans based on advice from friends or family members who have little understanding of your situation or goals. The best way would be to seek guidance from experts such as independent financial advisers equipped with the tools and data required to create suitable strategies. Consider all personal circumstances, including income, savings, family commitments, and health-related concerns that may arise after retirement.
Retirement life is something that no one should take for granted. As such, it's essential to start planning early enough to reach this stage of life financially independent without worrying about money or anything else.
The earlier you begin, the easier it will be for you to build a significant amount of wealth because your savings will have more time to grow. This way, you can live the rest of your life the way you want – stress-free and free from financial worries.