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Planning for Retirement in Emotional and Practical Terms

June 25, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 180

When people talk about planning for retirement they're usually referring to the financial planning aspect. The pension, the savings, the annuity and the expected dip in income, but baby boomers need to plan what they're going to do when they stop working?

Retirement is a new phase of your life, it's a life changing event that many under estimate and simply drift into without giving it much thought.

Statistics given by the Department of Work and Pensions are predicting that nearly a fifth of people living in the UK today are expected to celebrate their 100th birthday. 1.3 million baby boomers between the age of 51 and 65 are included in those figures. So instead of a life expectancy of 20-25 years following retirement some could be facing 40 years of retirement!

Thanks to medical advances many baby boomers will continue to live very active lives for many years, but we need to have some idea of how we intend to spend our time that's why it's good to consider planning for retirement.

Most of us have dreamt of waking up one morning and not having to go to work. It may sound wonderful but in reality for some it can be like moving through a bereavement.

One day you are someone who has a purpose and focus and the next you're cast adrift from all that has been familiar. The colleagues that have been part of your every day life and become friends will eventually fade away and you will have less and less in common with them after you've retired. Projects that had been all absorbing at work suddenly aren't available to you any longer and believe it or not eventually time can hang heavily if you haven't prepared and planned what you're going to do.

Planning for retirement begins the adjustment process and can help the transition into your new life.

Couples can suddenly find themselves under each other's feet as they're suddenly thrown together for 24 hours a day. Particularly if one has been at home alone for sometime while the other has been at work. The one that has been at home will have built up a routine and interests of their own and suddenly the other will be expecting to spend a great deal of time together which can cause resentment. You need to reach an agreement on how you will both pursue interests of your own but still enjoy time together.

Planning for retirement is even more essential if you are single, or before you know what's happening you're spending every day alone trying to occupy yourself. There is a real danger that without realising it you can become isolated and spend much of your time alone.

Grandparents usually find that their children seem to have an expectation that they will be on hand to babysit and collect grandchildren from school as when they are needed. Whilst you are probably looking forward to spending more time with your family and grandchildren you have to be careful that they don't hijack your retirement for their own benefit.

So many baby boomers are limited in what they can do socially in their retirement because they have taken on commitments with the grandchildren, and while you're probably happy to help out it's your time now, don't feel guilty about setting the boundaries.

Planning for retirement can help you decide how much time you are prepared to give to help with the grandchildren and how much time you would like to leave to pursue the retirement activities you dreamt of.

Planning for retirement is all about getting a good life balance. It may be that you plan to work part-time or even start a little business to boost your pension. In view of the economic downturn many baby boomers will be looking for ways to earn extra cash in their retirement. But generally retirement is about doing all the things you never had time to do when you were working.

As you approach retirement it's good to take stock and think about what kind of retirement lifestyle you want to have.

  • Have you got hobbies and interests to look forward to?
  • Are you planning to do some travelling?
  • Are you planning to move house?
  • Is your home ready for retirement living?

Hobbies and Interests

If you've had a very stressful job that has taken over your life it's easy to let hobbies and interests go, now is the time to start preparing for retirement and thinking about what you really enjoy doing.

Do you long to be outdoors more? Do you enjoy walking, sailing, playing golf, or perhaps you want to learn to fly?

While you're still working it's a good idea to start making enquiries of clubs and organizations that you could join. If it's a new hobby or interest, try booking some taster sessions before you commit to equipping yourself with expensive golf clubs, or walking gear.

If you've always fancied enrolling for some art classes, to learn how to paint. Get your name down for some classes. Art groups tend to be very popular and you may find there is a waiting list. Start making enquiries before your planned retirement date.

Even the local Golf club or sailing club may have a waiting list for membership. Make the enquiry and get your name down so that hopefully by the time retirement comes you will have it to look forward to.


Many baby boomers plan to travel more and see the world in their retirement and why not! The kids have had their gap year in between University and starting work. Start expanding on those plans, making enquiries into where and how you're going to do it.

If you're planning to be away for several months, you need to think about who will look after your home while you're away, or whether it might be worth renting it out to help fund the trip. Start thinking about it and making your enquiries, start preparing for retirement travelling.

Planning to Move House

When planning for retirement many people consider moving house. Perhaps you want to downsize to something more manageable or to release equity to boost your pension income. Perhaps you plan to leave the U.K. and spend your retirement in the sun. Or perhaps you plan to move to the coast or the country.

Apparently more people appear to be moving back into the Cities in their retirement to take advantage of the Art Galleries, Theatres, Museums etc. Before making decisions you need to do your homework and plenty of research to make sure this is exactly what you want. Mistakes can be undone but they are costly, so it's best to get the decision right first time.

If you're planning on buying a retirement property that is specifically for the over 60's then the sooner you start making enquiries and decisions the better. One of the results of the economic downturn is the shortage of new properties and retirement properties are also going to be in short supply.

Preparing your Home for Retirement Living

When planning for retirement it's good to do an appraisal of your home before you give up working. If you intend to stay in your current home for the foreseeable future is there any major work that needs doing that you can pay for out of your salary before you retire, rather than plundering the savings.

Once retired and living on a reduced income funding home projects can leave a big dent in your savings and is not easily replaced. Consider which large electrical appliances, central heating boiler, double glazing, new carpets etc. may need to be replaced in the foreseeable future and do it while still earning.

Consider whether there are any alterations that you can make to your home that will make retirement living easier. For example have you got a downstairs toilet? Does your home have easy access should the arthritis kick in? Do you have a walk in shower when the day comes that you can't get in and out of the bath easily?

Are there any improvements that you can make to the garden and outside areas of the house that will make it easier to maintain. For example raising flower beds, replacing lawns with paving or gravel.

Taking the time to plan every aspect of your retirement and not just the finances will help you to get the best out of your retirement years.

Pat Price was a former Training & Development Manager with a global organization in the Construction Industry where one of the many courses she was responsible for was a "Retirement Course". Since her own retirement from the corporate world she has studied internet marketing and combined her knowledge on retirement issues with her own personal experiences to create a website. gives practical tips and advice for fellow baby boomers facing retirement in challenging economic times.

Source: EzineArticles
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