woman preparing for retirement

Preparing for retirement

How do you go about preparing for retirement?  What changes will occur in your life, and how can you adjust your lifestyle them? Will you be bored, broke, lonely – all of these and more?

I hope to answer some of these questions in my blog post, and perhaps I can help you in making your own adjustments.


a happy senior preparing for to retirement

It is not uncommon now for people to look forward to their retirement in their 50s, although the years of early retirement on generous pensions has perhaps passed it’s peak.  Certainly, many are winding down in their early 60s – and some work on until their state pension date.  But most retirees can look forward to 20 years or more without an alarm clock – time that needs to be filled somehow.  And the more your prepare for retirement, the better off you will be when the day of no alarm clock dawns.

Preparing for retirement – factors to consider:

Whatever the retirement date, I highlight 6 areas to consider when preparing for retirement:

  • Finance – the period approaching retirement is a time to review your budget, and there are experts in laying out your pension and saving options.  There are also many, many pitfalls to avoid. But as in any other stage of your life, income should match or exceed expenditure, so budgeting is essential.
  • Health – taking care of your health in later life is critical to a long and happy retirement, although of course the fates may have some other outcome for you.  The most that you can do is to stay active, eat well, avoid an excess of anything and don’t smoke.
  • Your status – will change.  Whatever it is your are retiring from (Solicitor, bus driver, teacher, market stallholder) – that status will no longer apply.  You need to retire to something – find a new identity, sense of purpose, reason to get up in the morning.  You will be a long time in retirement, but don’t waste those years looking back to who you were.
  •  Partner – you will be spending more time at home, so now part of your retirement preparations should be some discussions with him or her.  How will you spend your time together?  What are your expectations of each other?  If you plan to spend your life on the golf course it would be advantageous for both parties if that was agreed before embarking on that lifestyle.  Retirefabulously has some good advice in this area.
  • Time – linked to the previous category, how to spend those waking hours?  A hobby perhaps, grandchildren may be in the mix, or there are endless clubs and societies when new friends can be made.  But time is limited – don’t waste it.
  • Legacy – how do you want to be remembered?  Cheerful soul, thoughtful and wise perhaps – but however your life has treated you to this point it’s never too late to be a better person.  If you can’t be the sunshine, at least don’t be the rain.

Preparing for retirement  – what will your initial period of retirement be like?

Without planning, this may be one of the most stressful periods of your life. You are trading the certainty of a routine that your job imposed to one where you don’t have to do anything at all – but humans (well, most of them) want to be busy and have a purpose in life. 

Any life change can cause pressure – changing house, job, partner – all stress inducing periods. Leaving your workplace is in that category – it aside from the place where you earn money, it can also be your social life, source of friendship, your contact with the outside world.

When you end your working life you may enter the period where you experience a significant number of changes happening at the same time.  You need to give some careful thought to what you are retiring to.

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