How to Plan For a Happy Retirement

Retirement can creep up quickly and many people find they’re unprepared. Planning retirement in advance is essential if you want to live a good life in old age. Getting your finances in order now will help you set the scene for a happy retirement.

So, how can you get prepared? Take a look at how to get your plan into action.

How to Plan For a Happy Retirement - image of older couple sitting on a bench
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Work Out Your Retirement Income

Do you know how much money you’ll have to live on when you’re retired? Many people find out much later than they should. You can find out how much you’ll receive during your retirement today.

Once you know what you’re likely to receive, you can work out what you’re likely to spend. Work out your expenditure on essentials like paying your bills, food, clothes etc. This will give you the money you have left for non-essentials.

If you need to boost your income to cover any of your expenditure, now is the time to start putting money aside.

Start a Savings Account

Every little helps when it comes to retirement finances. If you’re dreaming of holidays abroad or second homes, you’ve got no time to lose. There are tons of banks with incentives to open savings accounts and you may gain on what you save through interest over the years.

Starting a savings account means getting into the habit of putting a percentage of your wage to the side. If you’re already doing this through your employment, it can seem unfair but it will all benefit you in the future.

Wait As Long As You Can

You can start taking your state pension from the age of 55, even if you’re still working. However, the earlier you start taking it, the earlier you’ll run out of money. If you can wait as long as possible before you start dipping into your pension, you’ll be better off in the long run.

This may mean working for as long as you can, putting money aside in your savings, or becoming self-employed so you can set your own working hours but still have a small income to subsidise your wage in retirement.

Ask a Professional

Getting professional help from financialadvisers.co.uk is a great way to start preparing for your retirement. They may be able to give you insight that you would never have come across without them. They will be able to advise on the best ways to use your income and how to best prepare yourself for retirement.

The great thing about getting financial advice is that it’s tailored to your situation. You can form a specific plan that will put you on solid financial ground in the years to come.

Downsize in Advance

You don’t want to be paying for things in retirement that you don’t need. Retirement is for enjoying but cutting down on a few things may give you the disposal cash you need to do the things you want. It’s worth asking yourself whether you really need the expensive car, the second home, or the extension on your house.

Cutting down on your spending by getting rid of things that are taking big chunks of your money could put you in a better position.

Develop a Routine

Developing a routine in retirement can help in all aspects of life. You should still wake up early in the morning and cook regular meals. You should still get plenty of exercise and see friends as often as you can.

The same goes for using your money. Getting into good routines with your money will help you to use it wisely. Give yourself a budget when you go out and when you buy your weekly food shopping. 

When you do this, you’ll know exactly how much you’ve spent and how much you’ve got left to spend.

Mentally Challenge Yourself

Brain power deteriorates as we get older and it can become more difficult to deal with numbers. Banking is something that requires concentration and strong brain power. You can make sure you stay alert with your finances by challenging yourself mentally.

Crossword puzzles, math problems, and reading books can all keep your mind sharp as you age. You will remain proficient with language, literacy, and numbers. When it comes to your banking, you can make sure you don’t miss anything or get caught out by scammers.

It’s never possible to be entirely prepared for the future because no-one can know what the future holds. However, when it comes to planning for a happy retirement, the earlier you start, the better.

Financial Planning for Life’s Unexpected Events

Life always brings surprises, some of them good, some of them not so good, and many of them that require some financial input from you. That’s why it’s so important to plan, as best you can, for life’s unexpected events. By preparing now, you can ensure that those tough financial moments are a little easier to deal with when they do arrive…

Financial Planning for Life's Unexpected Events - golden piggy bank
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Insure for What You Can

These days we have insurance for everything from a broken phone to pet illnesses and even life insurance that will only pay out once we die. If you’re serious about planning for life’s unexpected events, financially at least, it’s a good idea to take out as many insurance policies for as many of the biog issues that are likely to affect you as possible. That way, when the worst happens, you won’t have to worry about the financial side of things at all.

Start an Emergency Fund

Sure, payday loans are available to many people at a push, but when those financial emergencies come around unexpectedly, it’s a never a bad idea to have a pile of money set aside to deal with them. That’s where the humble emergency fund comes in. Basically, an emergency fund is simply an amount of money that you set aside and do not touch until a serious financial emergency comes along – things like job loss, huge vet’s bills or a period of illness. Thus, emergency funds only work when you put money aside regularly and leave it untouched until it is really needed.

Stay Out of Debt

It may not always be possible, but the more you can do to stay out of debt the better Not being in debt means you will have more money available to deal with life’s emergencies and one less thing to deal with. Debt is the source of so much stress that it is worth staying out of it, or if you already have debts, looking at ways to minimise them as soon as possible. If that’s something you are struggling with, there are people who can help you.

Have a Backup Budget

Creating a backup budget, that you can fall back on when your life doesn’t go as expected is a really good idea. It will help you to immediately identify the expenses you can cut back on so that you can free up some much-needed cash and get back on financial track as soon as possible when things get tough. Make that plan now when you’re in a good place and thinking clearly, and you can spring into action right away.

Make a Will

None of us likes to think about dying, but the fact is we will all die one day and when that happens, we don’t want to leave a financial mess behind us. That’s why every adult should make a will as soon as possible. Then, if the worst does happen, those who are left behind will know exactly what is expected of them and where the money will be going.

Plan now and cope better when those unexpected life events show up! 


6 Easy & Pain-free Ways you Can Cut Your Spending

Budgeting. It’s one of those things that we all know is good for us. Yet committing to a budget can be a lot easier said than done.

One of the hardest things about budgeting is that you’ll have to make a handful of compromises. This means that you can’t just buy everything you want without thinking about it. Instead, you need to decide what you really need to buy, and what you can live without.

If you’re concerned about how difficult it can sometimes be to reduce your spending, don’t fret. We’ve got a handful of easy ways you can spend less, without feeling the pinch.

6 Easy & Pain-free Ways you Can Cut Your Spending - coin and purse image

1.    Only Buy Store Brands

Human beings are creatures of habit. We tell ourselves that we need to buy the same make of cheese and toilet paper time and time again. However, the truth is that most of the products you buy in the supermarket today are the same as the own-brand options you can get for a much cheaper price.

When you pay for more for fancy brands, usually, you’re paying for the cost of their advertising and packaging, not for a product that’s any better than you’d get elsewhere. Stick to store-brand only, and you’ll save a fortune.

2.    Plan your Meals

Have you ever been searching through your kitchen cupboards and found a bunch of old, outdated sauce mixes and meal packets in there? You’re not the only one. It’s easy to get inspired and buy something at a shop, then forget all about it when you get home. To make sure that you’re not wasting your money on un-used food, make sure that you plan your meals.

Set aside an hour or two each week to think about the kind of recipes you’ll look forward to eating. This will make it less likely that you’ll be tempted to order in. If you can, try to make multiple meals using similar ingredients, as this will cut down the amount you need to spend too.

3.    Always Keep Snacks Handy

Snacks might not be the best thing for your diet (depending on what you eat), but they’re great for your budget. When you’re out and about, it’s easy to spend a fortune on an expensive lunch when you’re starving and far away from home. However, if you’ve got some snacks in your glove compartment, or your bag, then you can save yourself some hard-earned cash.

To keep things healthy, carry a bottle of water with you at all times, as well as some non-perishable foods like nuts, or a granola bar. When you’re tempted to eat out, even a bottle of water can be enough to fill you up until you get home.

4.    Use Things Up

Most consumers today are more wasteful than they realise. The chances are that you’ve thrown away plenty of “almost empty” bottles of cleaning substances in the past. However, the amount of cash you waste on not using those items until they’re empty is more significant than you may realise.

Whether it’s a bottle of makeup or something that you regularly use around the house, focus on trying to use everything before you buy something new. This will help to stop you from making frivolous purchases on items that you don’t necessarily need. It should also stop you from ending up with excess clutter in your home too.

5.    Make it a Challenge

Budgeting can be boring – so why not have a little more fun with it? Every time you’re shopping for something new, challenge yourself to save money. This could mean going online and finding out how much cash you could save on a new loan if you go with a different provider. It could also mean downloading apps that automatically add discounts to your cart when you’re checking out with an online store.

If you focus on making sure that you’re always on the lookout for a bargain, you’ll be less likely to make passive purchases that take you over your limits in your budget.

6.    Ask for Better Deals

Finally, don’t be afraid to haggle with your service providers. Whether it’s the company that provides your car insurance, or the brand you’re paying for utilities like gas and electric, make sure you’re always paying the lowest price. If you can’t find a better deal online, you can always call the company customer service desk and ask for a discount.

Many businesses will be happy to go above and beyond to keep you on their team. That means that you can find plenty of great deals.


Lifelong Money Plans

Eurgh, we’re already in enough of tizz about our short term money plans, so why would we want to throw in lifelong ones as well. We’re sure that’s what you thought when you read the title, but there’s so many things that you should be thinking of when it comes to money. Money really does make the world go round, and there’s not much that you can do without it. And there’s a lot less you can do when money starts to go downhill. So if you’re someone who is always focused on the short term stress of your money situation, rather than thinking about what could be done in the long term, then you really are doing it wrong. Short term problems are short term for a reason, they will go away in no amount of time. But it’s the long term things that you really want to be thinking about. The problems and scenarios that are going to follow you through life, and that you really want to have plans in place for. So keep on reading, and see how your lifelong money plans could change.

Lifelong money plans - growing money image
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Payments That Last A Lifetime

There are some payments that will literally last you a lifetime. The ones that once you’re tied into, you know you just can’t get out of because your lifestyle depends on it. We’re obviously talking about your mortgage, and it definitely can feel like it’ll last a lifetime. But what makes it worse, the payments can just be so hard to manage, and getting them down seems near enough impossible. But have you ever thought to compare equity release, and see how that might benefit you? Releasing equity can take so much off your mortgage each month, you just have to look into it, and look into the right lenders. Remortgaging is also a good idea. Again, it will take your monthly payments down, even if just by a little bit, and improve your monthly expenditures on your home.

Investments Into Your Family

Your family should be one of the things you’re constantly investing in. As soon as you have children, your whole life begins to revolve around them, and there are easy ways that you can invest in the future of it. One way of doing so, would be to try and set up trust funds, which can then be transferred to your children when they come of age. Trust funds are an excellent way of making money on investments, far better than just putting your money into a normal savings account for them.

Working Your Way Out Of Money Troubles

Money troubles can stick with you for life if you don’t work on them now, and it’s so important that you really do work on them now. We’re thinking about debt, and how crippling that can be over a lifetime. So, if you really have got yourself into a pickle, you should think about contacting debt advice services. They can set you up with a plan to pay it all off, and to help you get your life back on the right track!