How to plan for a lifestyle change at retirement

While retirement is a brilliant opportunity, it is also the end of your working life and brings with it an immediate change in lifestyle which is both financial and emotional.

| 4 min read

Retirement is one of the major life events and for a lot of people the most difficult transition they face. While retirement is a brilliant opportunity, it is also the end of your working life and brings with it an immediate change in lifestyle which is both financial and emotional.

So, how should you plan your retirement? There is a lot to deal with; more free time, changing relationships and a changing view of money. A robust financial plan can help you deal with the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

How to plan your retirement lifestyle

1. Think about the opportunities

When you retire you will probably have time on your side and all being well a reasonable nest egg. One of the fundamentals of financial planning is budget planning. Doing this at retirement can be very pleasant indeed. Mortgages are gone; the kids should (hopefully) be self-sufficient and you now have the perfect combination; money to spend and time to spend it. But, what do you want to do and when?

Some of the best advice I give to my clients is simple and fun: sit down with a glass or two of your favourite tipple, some blank paper and talk about what you want to do. Next, write it down - this makes it real! Once you have done this, create a basic strategy and a timeframe on how to complete your list. Whilst not an exhaustive list, some good questions to ask would be:

  • Do you want to travel? If so, where to, and how often?
  • Do you want to get that treat, a car or caravan?
  • Are you going to take up a new hobby or learn a new skill?
  • Are you going to keep your current home, move or get a holiday home?

Once you have these questions and the ones that naturally fall from them, an action plan will begin to form.

2. Factor in the challenges

Challenges broadly fall into two categories, health and wealth; health concerns are the starting point. The answers to two questions, in particular, will help you understand these challenges better.

  • How long do you think you will stay well, fit and active?
  • How long will you live for?

In my experience, a lot of people can overestimate the former and underestimate the latter. For most people with a degree of wealth, you may have a life expectancy well into your 90s, but after 65 the chances of being in some sort of poor health are almost 1 in 2 and this risk factor only increases with age. It is important to ensure this has been considered in any plans you make.

For your wealth, put simply there is only one question - how long will the money I have last? Hopefully, the answer is long enough.

Whilst these are difficult questions to ask, answering them honestly can lead to a more realistic plan.

3. Consider professional financial advice

Having a conversation with a financial planner can help you to take control of your retirement, giving you freedom and peace of mind. We use our technical knowledge combined with our experience.

For every new client, it will be their first time, but the most experienced planners we have gone through this with clients hundreds of times before and therefore seen what works well for other clients. When you combine that with our technical knowledge, we know what strategies are best in your circumstances and most importantly, what is sustainable and successful, that is where we add value. We also have the ability to monitor the plans using cash flow forecasting, which can give you the added confidence that your retirement is on track.

Finally, we have an objective view on your retirement. We want you to succeed but we can also be sensible about what you can or should do. That can sometimes involve encouraging our clients to spend more, as much as it can be to spend less. What our financial planners do is help you grow into your retirement, solve the bad problems and hopefully give you more of the good opportunities.

Nothing on this website should be construed as personal advice based on your circumstances. No news or research item is a personal recommendation to deal.

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The information in this article is based on our understanding of UK Legislation, Taxation and HMRC guidance, all of which are subject to change. The tax treatment of pensions depends on individual circumstances and is subject to change in future. This article is solely for information purposes and does not constitute advice or a personal recommendation.

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