Money might make the world go round, but the old adage is true: cash doesn’t buy happiness. If you’re approaching retirement with concerns about the level of funds you will have available in your pension pot, you could consider another approach – reducing your outgoings.
Many people, when they see their expected income on a pension statement, are shocked. They immediately start to compare this figure with their current income. However you should consider the sort of retirement you plan on having before starting to panic unnecessarily.
Lots of people are now considering different ways to save for their retirement, such as investing in property or ISAs. If you are looking for a way to sell your pension to release the cash tied up in it, either to invest elsewhere of for more pressing financial concerns, speak to a pensions expert.
Asses Your Outgoings
When you reach retirement your income may seem somewhat depleted, but your outgoings will have probably also dwindled. Most 65-year-olds, for example, will be living mortgage-free in their own homes which saves a good chunk of cash every month.
Additionally, without the daily commute to the office, a retiree saves on petrol and car maintenance costs. You may decide that as a family you now only require one car, or you could rely on free public transport with your senior citizen’s bus pass.
You will also probably be an empty-nester, with all the children flown from the coup, which saves on grocery shopping, laundry and bills.
Time To Downsize?
If your family home is feeling a little empty with the family off living their own lives, consider downsizing. Selling your biggest asset in favour of a smaller, more suitable house for your circumstances could leave you with a hefty lump sum from the sale, which you can re-invest, use to supplement your income, or just enjoy yourself with. Smaller homes are also much more cost effective to run, as you are not pointlessly lighting and heating empty space so you’ll make further savings here.
Choose Frugal Hobbies
Unless you’re into yachting around the world, keeping yourself occupied during your retirement need not be expensive. Gardening or cultivating an allotment could even help you save cash by growing your own vegetables for the table, while others enjoy reading a good book, getting involved in community events and volunteering for charity work to stay physically and mentally agile.
With people living longer and staying healthy, there is truth in the saying that “50 is the new 30” – by the same logic, 70 can be considered the new 50, and the world really is your oyster when deciding how to spend that well-deserved retirement.
A Round Of Golf
It sounds like a cliché, retiring to spend life on the golf links, but the truth is that golf is a great way of keeping fit and meeting new people.
It is also extremely addictive in its own right. Even if you have never picked up a golf club in your life, there are courses specifically aimed at novice golfers aged 50-75.
Most of us are too busy working to fully appreciate what is all around us. Joining English Heritage gives you the chance to learn about some of the most important historical locations. If you are over 60, membership costs just £43.50 per year, or £67.00 for a couple.
Members have free and unlimited access to more than 400 sites, and to hundreds of special events every year. Your weekends will be filled with fun and adventure!
Travel In Style
While many of us go through the “born again biker” phase as we approach middle age, retirement is definitely the time to revisit the four-wheeled transport of our younger days. With the kids long gone, what could be better than to visit those English Heritage sites in a classic two-seater sports car?
As well as providing huge amounts of fun and smiles wherever you go, a well looked after classic car is also a sound investment, that will only go up in value.
Retirement pursuits do not have to be earth-shattering or involve a major new investment. It can be just as rewarding to have the time to sit back and do a little more of what you really enjoy. For many, this involves dining out more regularly, perhaps with friends and family that you really should see more often.
Of course, if you have that classic car as well, what better excuse to take it out for a midweek drive to a local restaurant?
The retirement cruise might sound like a sure-fire way to blow all of your savings, but you would be surprised at how affordable it can be.
In fact, it can be so cost effective that some retirees in America choose to spend their retirement permanently based on the high seas, booking back-to-back cruises for a “floating retirement” that costs only a little more than the average assisted living community!
Learn A New Skill
Adult education has never been more popular among retirees. It keeps your mind active, introduces you to new people and gives you the chance to finally learn about what really interests you, rather than what you need to learn for work.
From Art to Zoology, visit your local adult education centre to see what courses are available, or check online resources such as the Open University.
You might even consider topping up your pension in early retirement by continuing to work part time. This is a great way to maintain a social life and a feeling of purpose throughout your golden years. Whatever you choose to do, it is possible to enjoy your retirement without spending beyond your means.