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Top ways to make the most of your retirement

6th April 2020


*Due to current concerns about the Coronavirus outbreak, it’s important that everyone follows government guidelines regarding unnecessary travel and advice about keeping safe. Therefore, this article should only be used a tool to plan any future endeavours and days out when the lockdown restrictions have been lifted.*

Heading into retirement can be an exciting time for many, with change ahead and the ability to adapt your lifestyle to suit you, there is plenty to be getting up to, including getting to know a bit more about stair lift costs to help maintain independence. First things first, making a brief plan as to what you want to accomplish and the things you want to focus on most with your free time is a great way to get started. Whether you want to focus on social activities with your friends, taking up a new hobby and helping a charitable cause or getting a hold of your finances – these can all lead to a happy and fulfilling retirement.

In this article, you’ll find tips and suggestions from experts on how to make the most of your retirement, including how you can get ahead when it comes to managing your finances and how you can benefit your family for the better.

Keep physically active

With your new-found free time, getting active and keep your bodies in tip-top condition is a nice way to pass the time. Keeping agile and fit is a great way to preserve the body and the mind. Plus, also it can be really great fun.

The British Heart Foundation recommends doing at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week, as recently reported on their website: “We should all aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week, so build-up to this if you haven’t made exercise a normal part of your life previously. Why not sign up for a charity event to give you a goal to work towards?”

Moderate exercise can come in a number of forms, from yoga and pilates to Nordic walking and aqua aerobics. Ask around the local community or your friends and family to see if there are any local clubs that you can join, not only will this improve your overall health and wellbeing, you can make a group of new friends too.

Get to grips with your finances

Getting to grips with your finance is one of the bigger things to think about and get your head around when you head into retirement. Not only will you head into the quieter years of your life knowing where you stand, but it could also open your eyes to spare money you could put to good use.

Peter Glancy, Head of Policy at Scottish Widows, explains a little more about taking control of your finances as you head into retirement: “We all want to look forward to a comfortable retirement, especially after spending more than 40 years in the workforce. While it’s great news that the number of people saving adequately into a pension hit a record high last year, the bad news is that one in five people in the UK fear they’ll never be able to retire. Reaching ‘retirement age’ doesn’t mean people should stop thinking about their financial future either. We are living and working much longer and the retirement now looks very different from days gone by.”

Peter continues: “More people are making different choices. Some continue working because they enjoy work, want to secure a more comfortable retirement income or out of necessity. Others are unlocking some of their pot at age 55 by taking some tax-free cash to take that holiday they’ve always wanted, or maybe help their children get on to the property ladder.”

If you want to get your finances in order but don’t want to sit through paperwork and websites looking at the best way to do so, seeking a financial advisor to run you through everything is a great way to progress, as Helen Morrissey, pension specialist at Royal London explains:

“The best tip I would give anyone considering their options at retirement is to seek financial advice. You will be retired for some time and will have many plans so you need to ensure you have the money to meet your needs. Speaking to an adviser will help you assess your finances so you have a good idea of whether you have enough money to live the lifestyle you wish or whether you need to make any adjustments. Seeking advice throughout retirement will also give you a good idea of whether your spending remains on track. In addition, advisers can also offer advice should you wish to gift money to younger relatives - to pay for a house deposit for instance - or make longer-term tax planning around issues such as inheritance tax.” 


Nick Hill, money expert at the Money and Pensions Service recommends setting up a power of attorney and planning any long-term care you may require:

“It’s important to think about how you’ll cope with the costs of paying for long-term care, either for yourself or for a family member who can no longer look after themselves. The amount you pay will depend on your income, savings and assets, and, if you go into residential care, might include the value of your home. It’s a good idea to talk to a specialist financial adviser. If you want to give a friend or family member the power to completely manage your money and property in the case that you can’t make decisions for yourself, you have to set up a lasting power of attorney. Setting up a power of attorney is a big step. You should make sure you understand all the implications, and you might want to get advice from a solicitor.”

Enjoy a social lifestyle

Enjoying a sociable lifestyle is a great way to enjoy retirement. Whether you love the company of your friends and family or enjoy the thought of joining a community group or charitable cause, keeping busy doing something you love or surrounded by loved ones is a great way to enjoy your later years. 

If you love the thought of helping out a charity, why not consider giving back to your local community and helping out at a youth club, soup kitchen or local organisation. There is an abundance of local causes that are always looking for volunteers, not only will you be helping a great cause, you’ll keeping active and sociable at the same time.

Explore your surroundings

What better way to enjoy your retirement than exploring your local surroundings? There are so many beautiful locations to explore right on your doorstep, it would be a shame not to take advantage of them.

Fresh air is one of the best ways to improve mood, refresh the mind and maintain great wellbeing. Whether you enjoy a walk in your local park or woods, want to incorporate more walking into your daily routine or want to achieve a milestone sporting event, there is no better time to get to it than once you are retired.


Get a pet

Getting a pet isn’t the right decision for everyone and a lot of dedication, patience and time is required to ensure they are happy and content, but why not consider adopting or enquiring about rescues cats and dogs? An older cat or dog is the perfect companion and doesn’t require as much time and training as a younger animal might. Getting a pet is a great form of companionship but will also encourage you to get out and about, enjoying some light exercise as well as enjoying your surroundings. Speak to your local Dogs Trust and get some more information about what adopting a dog entails, it might just be the perfect option for you.

British Heart Foundation reported: “According to pet researcher Allen R. McConnell, a professor of psychology at Miami University, people with pets are generally happier, more trusting, and less lonely than those who don't have pets. They also visit the doctor less often for minor problems. One reason for that may be that your pet gives you a sense of belonging and meaning, Prof McConnell says. ‘You feel like you have greater control of your life.’”

Make the most of the free time your retirement offers you and put your skills and passion to good use. Whether you decide to volunteer, get outside and explore or adopt a new pet, it is time for you to sit back, relax and enjoy life to the max.

How to make the most of your retirement:

  • Keep physically active
  • Get to grips with your finances
  • Enjoy a social lifestyle
  • Explore your surroundings
  • Get a pet

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.