The Great Hunt: Getting ready for retirement

It's one of the biggest changes you'll make in your life - so what tips would you offer for those looking at stopping work? From getting set up with pensions, tax, and just what to do with your spare time, we're looking to tap into retired MoneySavers' experiences.

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  • At least a couple of years before your retirement date start thinking about what you will do with your newly free time. It may be that you want to continue to work part-time, so start making enquiries now. If you want to try working at something new look into training and networking in the new area. If you want to travel start thinking about your list of "must-goes" and involve anyone else you want to travel with. If you may want to downsize your home start researching new areas and think about a moving budget. And make sure you put all your "spare money" from your wages while you still have them to pay off any debts. Send for a pension forecast from the Pension Service and chase up any private pensions, and use the open market option to get the best deal, if you still want to get an annuity. The more you plan the better your retirement will be!! Because daytime television is dire... Enjoy.
  • Looking forward to the tips that might come up in this thread as I'm going to be 65 in January.
    I'll probably end up looking at the voluntary sector as I'm not sure I'll be able to continue in paid employment due to tax treatment of company share scheme.
  • xtopherxtopher Forumite
    12 Posts
    At least a year or two before take up something 'physical' and social. I started to play bowls. A local indoor club gave free lessons on a Sunday morning with a lot of other newbies. We eventually formed an indoor team to compete in a league. A couple of us survivors are still doing it 10 years later. Indoor is great for the winter you can play as much and when you like. I progressed to outdoors. Best thing I took up and made some great friends. Good source of networking too if you need help. There is always someone with a skill willing to help or offer. So fresh air in the summer, something to do in the quiet winter nights, make new friends. What more could you ask for. Good luck to all.
  • I have been retired 8 years and find it best to keep active. Spend time going places which previously you had no spare time for, AND if you have concessionary travel card, USE IT !
    In preparation for retirement, make enquiry to DWP for a state pension forecast, along with similar from your employers pension scheme.
    Bear in mind the tax man will be hovering for his share of taxes too ! :eek: This because whatever the state pension is, the figure is set against the personal allowance. For example, If the annual state pension was £6k (optimistic) and personal allowance (over 65's) is say £10k you would be left with £4K to set against th private/company pension.
    Take a hard look at how you pay your rates, Gas/Electric and other fixed charges and consolidate into one account for payment by Direct Debit, funded by state pension, if sufficient. Understand Santander offer discounts for such payments. This way you have no worries about paying bills on time, plus you can see how the funding stands at any time.
    Because you (should ?) have more time at your disposal, supermarket bargain hunt (in association with Martin :money:will save you ££££'s

    Happy retirement.
  • GoldiegirlGoldiegirl Forumite
    8.8K Posts
    Eighth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Rampant Recycler Hung up my suit!
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    Work out what your income will be after you retire, and live within that budget for at least a year before retirement, so you know it's 'do-able'


    You will probably have to make adjustments for travel to work and other work related expenses, and also remember other costs may go up, things like gas and electricity


    All the 'spare' money you have from living in your reduced budget can be saved, ready for retirement, or used to clear debt
    Early retired - 18th December 2014
    If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough
  • Hi everyone
    As others have previously said the best advice I would have is to:


    -get a pension forecast
    -work out if you can afford to live within your means
    -if things will be tight, do a financhial makeover and look at areas that you can save money using comparison websites, cheap energy club etc. Chant the MSE mantra....do I need it, can I afford it etc. Corny, but true lol.
    -Make a will and let your family know your wishes. I know you don't feel as if you have one foot in the grave just yet, but its good to be organised whilst your faculties are still sharp.
    -Make a list of work colleagues phone numbers, email addresses etc and keep in regular contact.
    -Think about all the times you have said "I must get back in touch with..." and DO IT.
    -Make another list of all those jobs that previously you never had the time, money, or energy to tackle and work through it.
    -Think of all the pastimes/hobbies you have ever fancied doing and work out how to get started. Now you have no excuses not to do that skydive. :eek:
    -If you need company, consider voluntary work, raising money for your favourite charity or helping out at your local hospital-they often need drivers.
    -Most of all, relax and enjoy. Now is your time. :beer:
  • zygurat789zygurat789 Forumite
    4.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
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    Goldiegirl wrote: »
    Work out what your income will be after you retire, and live within that budget for at least a year before retirement, so you know it's 'do-able'


    You should work out what your income and expenses will be after retirement as a couple and as each of two individuals. It is quite alarming how the expenses don't go down that much but the income drops quite dramatically.
    If there are any private pensions and it is decided to take an annuity then the residual annuity may be of vital importance in making up the income of the survivor.
    The only thing that is constant is change.
  • GoldiegirlGoldiegirl Forumite
    8.8K Posts
    Eighth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Rampant Recycler Hung up my suit!
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    zygurat789 wrote: »
    You should work out what your income and expenses will be after retirement as a couple and as each of two individuals. It is quite alarming how the expenses don't go down that much but the income drops quite dramatically.
    If there are any private pensions and it is decided to take an annuity then the residual annuity may be of vital importance in making up the income of the survivor.



    Or think of alternatives for the survivor. For example, downsize the house, have lower bills at the smaller house / flat and invest the equity released for additional income
    Early retired - 18th December 2014
    If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough
  • PennyForThem_2PennyForThem_2 Forumite
    771 Posts
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    De-clutter.

    Think about this before retirement and begin to do it a little at a time.

    Think about technology - do you have the skills needed - if you are on here then probably good start - but do you need other skills? Where will you get them?

    Plan. Project plan if that is your thing. As ppl have said - income v expenditure - do you need IFA - do you need part time job

    Downsizing - possibility. Advice - explore what is on offer - the district, shops, GP, public transport, house price, type of house, garden, pets.
  • livialivia Forumite
    5 Posts
    There is no fool like an old fool. I am disabled and 5 years older than my husband and receive a small pension
    My husband retires December has been on working tax credit as self employed and earning little or no money,Got caught out with endowment so left with £16,000 owing Build Soc; extended mortgage until Jan as we knew that he would receive 25% of his pension pot tax free, the rest towards an annuity. so we could pay off mortgage and have essential repairs done to the house and smaller pension.We also pay reduced council tax due to low income.
    Contacted working tax credit to sort out when they had to be told etc.and during the conversation was appalled to hear that 25% of pension pot is NOT tax free but would be taxed at 20% and also any and all pensions from Dec until 6/4/15 would be added and after personal allowance the combination would be taxed with any over payment of tax refunded.which reduced our 25% (of£23,000) down to £18,400. I was heart broken but this was followed up with Oh and you will have to pay back all this years working tax credit as the moneys received count as income so can we stop paying now (leaving us with no
    income).I said no but then was told that don't forget you will also have to pay your full council tax for the year as you will not be entitled to WTC.We were looking forward to retirement not now!!!!
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