How to prepare for retirement in 7 steps

Written by Stannah

Senior couple preparing for retirement

Retirement is the perfect opportunity to enjoy life at a different pace. However, preparing for retirement can bring up a mix of emotions, from happiness to anxiety.

But there is a secret to enjoying your retirement to the fullest. Do you know what it is? It’s very simple and comes down to a single word: planning!

According to the World Health Organization, the world population over 60 is expected to double by 2050 in most developed countries, and the average life expectancy will continue to increase exponentially.

These findings only reinforce the idea that we must prepare for retirement before it happens: if we live longer, it’s only natural to plan this phase of our lives more carefully. This includes, for example, analysing your personal finances, health needs, and the general condition and accessibility of your home, among others.

For those considering a move abroad, researching healthcare systems, walkability, and proximity to amenities in different countries can be invaluable. After all, the best places to retire in the world consistently garner a reputation as ideal retirement places precisely because they excel in these areas.

But with a plan in hand, preparing for retirement will be much easier than you might imagine.

So whether you’re just starting to think about retirement or its due date is getting closer, read on and discover how these seven tips can help you better prepare for retirement and enjoy this phase of your life to the fullest.

1. Pension system: know your rights and how to prepare financially

One of the most important aspects of preparing for retirement is saving as early as possible. The earlier you start saving, the more time you have to build up your lifetime earnings.

To maintain the standard of living you had before retirement, it’s essential to know how much money you will receive and at what point you should start the retirement application process.

Consider consulting a financial advisor to create a comprehensive retirement plan that aligns with your goals and expectations.

It’s also crucial to pay off any outstanding debts, create an emergency fund and stay informed about any changes to Social Security or other retirement programs.

By taking these steps, you can ensure that you are financially prepared for retirement and can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle in your golden years.

2. Adapt your home for the future

Adapt your home for the future with a stairlift

When preparing for retirement, it’s equally important to consider organising your home for this phase of your life. After all, our home is our safe haven, where we keep our happiest memories.

For this reason, it’s essential that your home remains a fully accessible, comfortable place, free of architectural barriers that may limit your movement.

If you have mobility issues, consider installing mobility solutions that will allow you to continue enjoying an active and happy life.

At Stannah, we have a wide range of mobility equipment designed to offer you complete safety and comfort.

For example, stairlifts are a great solution for those who have difficulty using the stairs but wish to remain autonomous to leave and enter the house whenever they want to.

Precisely for this reason, our stairlifts can be installed on straight or curved stairs, as well as indoor or outdoor spaces.

The personalisation of the elements that make up our stairlifts is another aspect that makes this mobility equipment a highly versatile solution, as they can be adapted to the decoration of your space, creating a cosy and unique atmosphere.

3. Keep working and accumulate income

If you are looking for an income similar to the one you had before retirement and feel you can still work, you can combine your old-age pension income with a new employment contract.

In these situations, taxes are usually lower than those of a working-age worker, meaning you can take advantage of this to continue practising your profession or even dedicate yourself to a job you have always wanted to do.

On the other hand, you will have more freedom and can choose to reduce your weekly working hours, leaving you time to enjoy other activities.

4. Plan your days

Senior woman listening to music at home and staying active

While breaking a routine is important, you should take some time to plan your days. This way, you will always have a reason to get out of bed in the morning and stay active throughout the day.

Dedicating some of your time to the activities you enjoy most, like a nice walk or meeting friends for coffee, is a great way to ensure you stay active and independent.

It should also help you avoid loneliness and isolation, something common among retired people who don’t plan their days consistently.

5. Invest in yourself and in what makes you happy

Since you’ll have more time, you can finally dedicate yourself to that project you have kept in a drawer for years and have always wanted to do.

If you want to learn a language, theatre or science, there are adapted courses for retired people. You can also apply to the Senior University and socialise with people of the same age and with similar interests.

And if travelling has always been one of your passions, retirement is one of the best times to discover new places.

Since you have more time, you can take advantage of less crowded times and lower prices in various services, such as hotels and air travel. Travelling can also open up your range of friendships, especially if you take group trips.

But suppose you want to travel alone and organise everything on your own. In that case, it’s essential to get to know the general outlines of your destination, what the accommodation is like and how easy it is to access reliable health care if necessary.

6. Pass on your life experience

Myths about ageing often portray retirement as a time of slowing down. But the truth is, it’s a fantastic opportunity to delve deeper into your community. One of the best ways to prepare for retirement is to start getting more involved in your community. Age brings with it the wisdom and experience that we so often lack at other times in life, so there’s a lot you can share with the people around you.

Volunteering for organisations or charities can be a great way to stay active and involved in your community. You can share your knowledge and experience with younger people or others in the community and also learn something new.

Consider volunteering at a local school or community centre. Depending on the industry, you may also support young professionals or offer advice to small business owners in areas where you have accumulated experience of several decades of work.

Sharing your knowledge and experience benefits those who receive it and can also be a rewarding way to spend your retirement years. In addition, it can help you stay mentally alert and socially present, which is essential for a healthy and happy retirement.

7. Stay active

Senior woman with friend staying active

In the retirement phase, it’s essential to stay active through activities such as swimming, yoga, pilates, gym work, you name it.

Continued physical activity is one of the best ways to fight the loss of balance that affects most people after age 65. In addition, you should continue to have the routine check-ups recommended by your doctor to ensure you can enjoy this phase of your life to the fullest.

Preparing for retirement doesn’t have to be a headache. You just need to be proactive and take steps to make the transition as smooth as possible.

If, for example, you wish to make your home more accessible, contact us and we will be happy to advise you on the mobility solution that best suits you and your home.

Afterwards, all you need to do is enjoy life. You can finally plan your days at the pace you want, fulfil the dreams left in a drawer, meet new places and people, and enjoy experiences that will make you think that the best is yet to come.

Sources:

Ageing and health

Life Expectancy

State pensions abroad