Retirement, is that one word that can either send you into a panic or fill you with happiness. For some the thought of retirement is scary, that they will no longer have a purpose in life, whereas for others they can not wait to do all those things they have wanted to do, but never had a chance to through work and family life.
I remember my parents often talking about their retirement when I was younger, places they wanted to visit, and various things they wanted to do in life.
I remember my Mum wanted to decorate and totally change their house, as her view was, if she was going to be home more often, she wanted to live in a house that she wanted. For my Dad it was the garden, he loved being outside and would always be pottering around the garden, and in the evenings sitting outside looking at all his hard work.
They also talked a lot about the places they wanted to visit, trips they wanted to make, both abroad and in the UK.
Along with this was making sure that they would be able to enjoy everything they have been dreaming of, so I would often get lectures about pensions, which yes is important, but at the age of 20, it felt like I had years to think about taking one out and planning for my retirement. I used to say I have only just started working, I have 40 plus years to go before I retire, I have plenty of time. Then at work I received some information about the company pension scheme and signed up, which also meant that the lectures about how I should be preparing for my future would stop.
Which in fairness did stop about taking out a pension, but then got the lecture about saving for my future. I did have a savings account, at the time I worked in banking, so it was natural thing for me to do, but I would also dip into it just as easily if there was something I just needed to buy.
Moving on a few years, and life changes, I realised why my Dad gave me the lectures, as it really is important to plan for your retirement.
I remember just before he retired, finding my parents writing a new bucket list of everything they wanted to do, which included.
- Redecorating the whole house
- Fixing all the repairs to the exterior of the property
- Buying a new car
- Various Trips and holidays
- A conservatory
- Take on a new hobby together
This obviously, all adds up, luckily they had paid their mortgage off so had no outstanding debt. They found some great resources on Sunlife which also gave them some great ideas.
I do feel lucky that I had great role models in my parents, who made me realise just how important it is to plan for the future. But the best thing for me is, being able to see them enjoy their hard work. They are having the best time in their retirement, they are able to do the things they wanted to do, although trips have been limited due to ill health. But they have the freedom to do what they want without having to worry about expense,
Have you prepared for your retirement yet?
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