3 ways you can start preparing for retirement now

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Too few people take the time to seriously think about retirement before it finally starts looming. While there’s no need to worry about retirement, it’s never too early to start thinking about it and doing a few minor things to repair. One of the biggest difficulties that people encounter after they retire is money and making the most of their free time. So, if you want to retire comfortably and feel secure, here are a few things you can do right now to start preparing for retirement.

Get your pension sorted out

If you have had workplace pensions set up by different employers, then it’s important that you dig up and keep safe any information about your different pension funds. You can transfer funds into the same pension plan to keep track of them more easily. Make sure you look at the details of your workplace pension scheme and keep track of how much is going into your pension fund on a regular basis.

Once you have sorted out where all of your funds are, you can start thinking about what you plant to do with them and research how you will use it. Will you keep your pension pot as it is or opt for income drawdown? Will you be taking it out all at once or in small amounts over a period of time? You’ll have to think about how your pension will be taxed and what the risks are if you choose to invest it if you want to make the most of your funds. There are a lot of big questions that you need to ask that you might not be able to tackle alone. As much as you might think that you can handle these issues on your own, it’s always beneficial to get professional advice and a second opinion, even if you don’t follow it in the end.

Save money in addition to your pension

While you would likely expect that your pension will be your main source of income during your retirement, that doesn’t mean that it can’t run out – especially if you don’t manage your pension effectively. That is why, if you only have a work pension, you may want to consider setting up a personal pension or putting money in a savings account to put towards your retirement. While you might not need this money when the time comes, it’s always better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. This extra money can help you cover any unexpected expenses that you might encounter during your retirement, such as your medical needs should you fall ill. In some cases, you can get help for your medical needs and might not need to save excessively; for example, you can purchase mobility scooters with the Motability Scheme. However, saving a little bit more can give you a comfortable amount of leeway should you find yourself in a tricky financial situation after you retire.

Think about what you want to do

Too many people think only about saving up enough money for retirement, and not enough think about what they intend to do with their money. Retirement is not the end, but rather the next stage of your life where you have more opportunities to explore and do the things that you have been wanting to do but never had enough time to do them. So, think about a sort of mission or goal to make the most of your retirement. Do you want to explore the world? Volunteer? Write that book you’ve had in your head? If you give your retirement some direction, you can dive into it gladly and avoid that period of slump that many retirees feel after they first leave the workforce. The goals you have for your retirement can also have an effect on big decisions that you shouldn’t leave until the last minute, such as where you will be living, how much money you will need to save, and how much time you will be spending with your partner or family. Many people have 20 years or more to make the most of your retirement, so make the most of it by planning all of the great things you want to do.

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