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What Does ‘Retirement’ Mean to You?

Whether or not you have retirement plans in place already, you’ve probably noticed that the way we choose to stop working has changed considerably over the past decade.

It used to be common practice to set a fixed retirement date, somewhere in your sixties.  You would then leave work for good one Friday afternoon around that date, stuffed full of cake and clutching a gold watch. 

But this has become a very unusual scenario today.  Instead of a short, sharp ending, retirement has transformed into more of a journey – where retirement has the potential to span many decades of life.

So if you’re not relishing the idea of stopping work completely, the good news is that you don’t necessarily have to.

Retirement as work-life balance

While some people hate the idea of retiring from work just because they’ve reached their sixties, others are choosing to ‘retire’ as early as their fifties.

Just as we can mostly choose when we retire, we can also choose how we retire.  For example, many people now use retirement planning as an opportunity to take stock of their future wants and needs, then map out a route towards achieving them.

This could take the form of working part-time instead of full-time, or taking advantage of a redundancy opportunity and setting up a private consultancy.  It could even mean leaving a well-paid job for something that earns less, but is more personally fulfilling, such as becoming a professional dog walker, or spending more time with your grandchildren.

In short, retirement planning could help realise those dreams you’ve always harboured.  Those dreams about banishing the draining commute and that taxing workload, in exchange for a better work-life balance that sees you spending more quality time with your family.

How much money will you need to retire?

While the retirement landscape could easily change again over the next decade, certain facts remain.  Retirement usually means losing your main income source, while lifestyle changes bring different financial needs.

Spending money on work (such as travel, clothing, or expensive lunches) may no longer be required, but you may want to take a long holiday, spoil your family, or indulge in a hobby you’ve always wanted to try.

So a good start could be to make a list of everything you’d like to do, and what you’ll need to pay for, during retirement.  This could help you determine whether or not you could afford an early or a phased retirement, such as gradually reducing your working hours over time, or taking a less stressful, lower-paid job.

If you don’t want to worry about financing your retirement, speaking with an Independent Financial Adviser can be extremely helpful.  A flexible, personalised retirement strategy that fits your needs and adapts to your lifestyle can bring relaxed peace of mind. You could even discover that you have more financial freedom than you thought.

So if you feel ready to discuss your retirement plans in more detail, please contact me to arrange a friendly, confidential, and no-obligation chat.

A pension is a long term investment. The fund value may fluctuate and can go down. Your eventual income may depend upon the size of the fund at retirement, future interest rates and tax legislation.

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