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Great Things To Know Before You Retire Hunt

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Over 50s Money Saving
108 replies 53.6K views
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  • I retired last September 3rd (48 weeks but who's counting :) ). Four weeks AFTER I retired I went on a "Planning for Retirement" course. Whilst this was paid for by my Company and was tremendously useful there are parts of it that (clearly) I would have benefitted from had I done the course, say, 12 months earlier.

    So, my one tip to would-be retirers is get yourself on a Retirement Planning course (preferably at your Company's expense...) at least 12 months before you plan to go.

    Some of the info given would have been useful 15 years before I retired... eg around you NI contributions. However, I reckon you can probably find all the stuff you need to know about that from other sources... but I'd definitely recommend making the time to research.
  • seven-day-weekendseven-day-weekend Forumite
    36.4K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
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    I 'retired' in 2004 (well, gave up work, at the age of 54) and went to live in Spain.

    I too am eternally grateful I paid the full insurance contributions. I have 25 years of NI contributions and 13 years Home Responsibility Protection (HRP). I need to pay voluntary contributions for one more year which I will do within the required time.

    As others have said, making pension provision for women is extremely important as their employment history is quite often a 'mixed bag' of full-time working, part-time working, not earning enough to pay NI, time off caring for children etc. etc.....if you get a pension forecast about 5-6 years before you reach pensionable age, then you have time to put right any shortfall.

    Having said that, we have to keep an eye on my husband's pension too, he is only 57 now so he had a shortfall of eight years on his State pension when he retired at 55. At the moment he is being credited with contributiions as he is on Incapacity Benefit, but if this ever stops, we will get him another pension forecast to see how much his shortfall is, and pay voluntary contributions accordingly.

    So, my advice, especially for women, is : always know what the state of your State (no pun intended!) Pension is.
    (AKA HRH_MUngo)
    Member #10 of £2 savers club
    Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology: Terry Eagleton
  • seven-day-weekendseven-day-weekend Forumite
    36.4K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
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    Forgot to say, my husband and I both have Final Salary Occupational Pensions as well. (He is drawing his, I can't have mine until 60 at the earliest). Because of this we haven't had to hunt around for annuities (although my husband has a tiny annuity from Prudential from his AVCs), I agree with Martin, if you DO have to buy an annuity, take time looking around and don't take the first one offered.
    (AKA HRH_MUngo)
    Member #10 of £2 savers club
    Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology: Terry Eagleton
  • al_yrpalal_yrpal Forumite
    339 posts
    As you can see from my signature, I experienced a lot of financial hazards through my working life but still managed to retire comfortably with no money worries. Had I worked for a public service, or a huge company throughout my life that would probably be true anyway, but I didn’t, although my wife did in latter years.

    My tips are:

    Aim for the biggest state pension you can, its inflation proof and ‘guaranteed’ more than any other kind.

    If you or your partner works in public service that’s great. Look forward to a certain gold plated pension and gratuity!

    Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, go for a pension, aim to buy a second property (and thus the wonderful benefit of a second life if it’s a holiday home), some savings, and make some investments. A little bit of this and a little bit of that is far more sensible than having all your eggs in one basket….. spread the risk.

    If you like antique furniture aim to furnish your home with some of it because unlike stuff from IKEA or MFI it isn’t worth practically nothing the day after you bought it. You can change antiques at any time at less expense.

    A business that is not dependent on just you, has a value that you can capitalise on when you retire. If you fancy your chances go for it sooner rather than later

    Be very very sceptical of any bank, financial advisor and do your own research.

    Don’t rely on your own home being your pension. Downsizing to a 2 bed bungalow from that grand house will be very painful. Better for us ordinary guys to have a modest house and a second home that can be sold to provide capital than at some stage rather than go through the pain of losing your home whilst needing to downsize.

    If you commute make sure you cultivate local friendships whilst you are working because being cut off from work friends and colleagues suddenly can be quite a shock.

    Reckon on giving much more of your time to supporting your kids and parents, they expect it.

    I am glad that some years before I retired 18 months ago that I thought about and wrote down my aims for retirement. I check my progress against that list from time to time. But, despite the list I still really miss the buzz of working and personally need to address how to keep myself busy and happy in the winter which I really hate.
    Survivor of debt, redundancy, endowment scams, share crashes, sky-high inflation, lousy financial advice, and multiple house price booms. Comfortably retired after learning to back my own judgement.
    This is not advice - hopefully it's common sense..
  • seven-day-weekendseven-day-weekend Forumite
    36.4K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
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    al_yrpal wrote:
    My tips are:

    Aim for the biggest state pension you can, its inflation proof and ‘guaranteed’ more than any other kind.

    If you or your partner works in public service that’s great. Look forward to a certain gold plated pension and gratuity!

    Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, go for a pension, aim to buy a second property (and thus the wonderful benefit of a second life if it’s a holiday home), some savings, and make some investments. A little bit of this and a little bit of that is far more sensible than having all your eggs in one basket….. spread the risk.

    .

    Agree. Our Spanish house is a second home (bought from the proceeds of an inheritance) which we can always sell if necessary, although we are living in it full-time at the moment. And we have cash in the bank through the sale of an investment property.
    (AKA HRH_MUngo)
    Member #10 of £2 savers club
    Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology: Terry Eagleton
  • Ken68Ken68 Forumite
    6.7K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Energy Saving Champion Home Insurance Hacker!
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    You really need to plan out your retirement, where you're going to live, what happens when one of you dies, what happens if you get really ill with no one to look after you.
    Little point in spending lots of money on the house then.
    Best sorted way before retiring.
    Assuming you're going to stay put, insulating the house to the nth degree would be worthwhile, laying out your garden to a simpler style would be useful.
    Get rid of ladder work, you won't be climbing about after retiring.Chimney pointing, roof checking, new guttering.
    Also as you near retirement age you will be a better judge of your health that the doctor or an annuity company.
    If your remaining pension or pensions is less than £15,000
    you have option to take it all in cash.
    And if you can still afford to run a car, something useful and easy to get into. A small MPV, like a Wagon R. type.
    Better still a free bus pass.
  • home_alonehome_alone Forumite
    755 posts
    I took early retirement at 60 and my main worry (if you can call it that) is IHT, I do not want to become Gordon Browns best friend, it has been only since retirement that I have discovered that if I do not act know with hopefully at least 20 years to go, I will leave about 400K to the Chancellor, this is not bragging but with rising house prices and a fairly thrifty life this is what I or we are facing. I find with loopholes closing I am left with very little option but to give my 2 children their inheritance up front and also to downsize my home which I am reluctant to do so. Apart from employing the Rolling stones accountants (they paid just over 1 mill tax last year from over 83 mill income) this is what I intend to do. So for those coming up to retirement dont overdo the savings part you might not be able to spend it all.

    gary
  • Ken68Ken68 Forumite
    6.7K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Energy Saving Champion Home Insurance Hacker!
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    You want to get a mistress, she'll soon spend it.
  • home_alonehome_alone Forumite
    755 posts
    Ken68 wrote:
    You want to get a mistress, she'll soon spend it.

    my life expectancy would go from the hopefully further 20 years to at the best 20 mins, nice thought mind, no, I can not stand the sight of my own blood.

    gary
  • nearlyrichnearlyrich Forumite
    13.7K posts
    Hung up my suit! Mortgage-free Glee! I'm a Volunteer Board Guide
    My OH is older than me and we went on a planning for retirement course before he took early retirement which meant I was only about 39, I found out lots about pensions, and other financial matters and like Bertie I can thoroughly recommend it to anyone who get the chance to go on one.
    Free impartial debt advice from: National Debtline or Stepchange[/CENTER]
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