By David Gledhill, Marketing and Communications Officer
WHAT do you wish you had been told about preparing for retirement when you were younger?
It is easy to let retirement happen to you. But how much better would it be if you were to able to make conscious choices, do some planning and so make the most of this next phase in our lives?
Retirement is a time of fantastic opportunities and choice – make the right choices, before it begins, and we can be fulfilled in retirement and really enjoy it. It is not just a holiday – they only last a couple of weeks, retirement could last ten thousand days or more.
I remember being given the sage advice that I should start preparing for it as young as possible – advice that I studiously ignored until far too late. In fact, I spent the first few years flitting from job to job, back in the days when you didn’t even have to opt into the pension scheme. Young, naïve and (perhaps) stupid.
When leaving school or university who really stops to think about what they will do at an age that they can barely even begin to imagine? I know I didn’t. But I wish I had.
Today’s pensioners are probably enjoying the very best of times financially speaking with the lucky ones having retired aged 60 or 65 (depending on their sex) with index-linked publically funded pensions.
Youngsters today doubt that they will ever be able to retire, let alone retire with an inflation proofed state pension. Perhaps they won’t need to, who knows what the future will bring?
Which rather brings me back to the way I was thinking as n 18-year-old who was living entirely for the day and completely ignoring his tomorrows. And then tomorrow arrived.
Subject to the Government moving the goal post again then the age at which both men and women can retire is 67-years-old, not that they have to of course.
More and more older people are choosing to continue to work because they continue to enjoy better health and enjoy the companionship and mental stimulation that working brings.
B&Q is just one of the big retailers who actively seek to employ older people – recognising not just their work ethic, but their years of experience and knowledge which can make for great customer service.
But what of those who want to retire – when should they start planning for it and what should they be doing to prepare – despite it being something that comes to us all, there are surprisingly few guides available.
Here at Ageing Well Torbay, we are hoping to put a working group together to look at what retirees wish they had known before they gave up work in the hope that knowledge can be shared with workers and employers across the Bay. Better to be prepared!
We want to look at it from all angles – the employer who wants to help one of their team prepare for stepping down, the worker who wants to prepare for a new chapter in their lives and we want to cover it from a financial, educational, health and well being, practical as well as philosophical point of view.
We have of course got mountains of knowledge across the bay in the shape of the thousands who have been there done that.
There are a lot of guides already written on how to save for retirement, how to spend during retirement and how to avoid being scammed during retirement, but there aren’t many that look at the bigger picture of retirement. Life before, during and after retirement.
We want to look at health, leisure, property, investment, tax, social care, activism, where to live, where not to live and what you need for a long happy, fulfilling retirement. We want to look at work, career changes, or perhaps even starting your own business. We want to look at looking after yourself, looking after your elderly parents, your siblings, your children. It is a big subject.
If you are over the age of 50 and want to join what should be a fun and intriguing piece of work, do get in touch: Davidgledhill@torbaycdt.org.uk or call me on 01803 212638. You might have already retired or might only just have started thinking about it. All are welcome. Please share those nuggets and we, in turn, will share them with everyone else.