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Three lessons about retirement from those who have already retired

3rd November 2017

Retirement is undoubtedly the section of your life which receives the largest amount of planning for most people, with much of your working life spent ensuring you can live where and how you want once you’ve retired. However, as with all plans, there are always going to be aspects of your retirement which don’t end up quite how you’d expected, and a few you might not have even considered until you’ve actually given up work. Here are a few key lessons learned by those enjoying retirement already:

1. Part-time work might not be for you – More and more people are including a part-time job into their plans for when they retire, sometimes for financial reasons but also to remain social and active. In theory it’s a great idea, and whilst it works well for some, finding something that meets all of your needs can be more difficult than you might expect. If you do want to continue working part-time, try to have something lined up before you actually retire. It’s also a good idea to plan for your part-time earnings to be extra money rather than a requirement for your monthly expenses.

2. Think carefully before moving home – It’s natural that you’ll want to spend more time with family once you’ve finished working. But be realistic when making plans regarding your home. Keeping hold of a larger property might seem like a good idea to host family events, but if the space is rarely used then downsizing is often a far better option that makes both maintenance and utility costs more manageable. Don’t rush to move closer to family either. If your children are now young professionals it’s likely that they’ll need to move from one area to another for their career, which could potentially leave you living in an unfamiliar area and no closer to your loved ones.

3. Maintain a realistic outlook – It may sound obvious, but retirement doesn’t automatically guarantee a stress-free life. It’s therefore important to make plans and keep a balanced mind to help you deal with any issues that either arise or continue once you’ve finished work. In fact, no longer having a career to focus on can make other aspects of your life to do with family or health feel overwhelming if you don’t prepare yourself emotionally. Taking up new interests and hobbies may seem like a cliché, but they’re a great way of ensuring you can keep perspective and make plans for the days and weeks ahead.

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