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Are you thinking about retiring?

Retirement planning is something that none of us actually really think about. We think about retiring and what we are going to do but do we really consider what this means.

Most of us look at retirement as lazy days enjoying not having to be up for work, with the travel and stress associated with working, enjoying long walks and lunches and cold beer in the garden. Few of us think about the changes in life that will follow retirement.

A quick review of your circumstances can put you in a good place for the foreseeable future. After all you took advice about what to do with your pension put before you retired to be prepared!

There are five things that you should do. A general health check if you like!

1. Review your will

Retirement is a good time to review a will. It’s what those of us in the business call a life changing event. You probably haven’t looked at your will for a while, or even since the kids were born so now is a good time to dust it off. Provision may need to be made for grandchildren or great grandchildren. Executors may have died if they were older than you or beneficiaries may not be around any more. There can be numerous personal reasons to review your will. This is before we even consider tax!

The Inheritance Tax threshold can change on a yearly basis (although it hasn’t for a while). We have seen the introduction of the main residence allowance to increase Inheritance Tax allowances for individuals to a potential £500,000. More focus now days is being put on protecting assets against care charges. Do you know if your wills provide you protection for Inheritance Tax and care fees?

2. Make Lasting Powers of Attorney

We spend endless amounts of money on insuring our house, car, hoover and washing machine against the what if. We take out insurance policies to provide our families with funds in the event of serious illness or death. What happens if something happens to you leaving you unable to make decisions for yourself that does not finish you off totally?

If you have an unexpected accident, stroke or develop an illness you may lose the ability to make choices for yourself. In these circumstances lasting powers of attorney for health and property would enable your chosen individuals to make decisions on your behalf in the event that you cannot do this for yourself. Lasting Powers of Attorney cut through the nonsense at the time you need help and support preventing your family from struggling to access your bank accounts to pay bills.

3. Review your finances

You should have reviewed your pension before retirement but have you had a look to see what the other assets you hold are doing. Is your money in the bank providing you with a good income and is this the best place to leave it or is there somewhere else that it might work better for you. Are you also receiving all of the benefits you are entitled to. Your income may have reduced now you are receiving retirement pensions so you could find you are entitled to benefits. A good Society of Later Life Adviser will be able to review your financial situation to make sure everything is at is should be.

4. The grandchildren!

Often with retirement comes the added bonus of grandchild sitting! Did you know that if you are looking after a child under the age of twelve whilst their parent or main carer is still working you can claim national insurance credits. This may help in topping up any gaps in your national insurance contributions to help with funding your state pension. If you are in this situation why not see if this is something you could apply for by submitting an application.

5. Have a nose into care!

Whilst this will not be on the top of your list you should make sure you have some understanding of what is out there should you reach a point where you need some help and support. Old age is now a thing of the past and to be honest the old adage “you are only as young as you feel” is right! Old age has moved. We used to think of old at 65! Now days you must need to be at least 100 and have stopped skydiving and abseiling and all high risk activities to be old. But, it does creep up on you. Do you know that you do not have to obtain care through social services. There are many of private companies which can support in many different ways if you need help and assistance. Funding is a minefield so if you have time to protect assets against care charges then why not look into it!

This is our specialism. Why not give us a call to see how easy it is to put these things to bed so you can focus on the lazy, sunny afternoons with a gin and tonic. You can reach us any time on 01622 843729.

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