The last three or four generations have seen a major shift in how we view retirement. For a long time, post-war life was simply the add-on bit at the end of your life where you slow down, suffer from aches and pains, retreat from the world and are generally a bit of a burden on those around you. For many, that rather bleak concept is still so strong, it makes contemplating the concept of retirement, difficult. But so much has changed.
A future paradise
Thanks to the advances in medicine, technology and communications we are likely to live longer, enjoy much better health and are able to fulfil projects we have always dreamed about. Now, in the 21st century, retirement is a time to shine. A time when we can really prepare to do all those things we could not do when we had a full-time career.
Some things will be at our finger-tips like seeing much more of our loved ones, family and friends. That’s not too difficult! Instead of spending the majority of our days earning an honest crust, we can give precious time to do those hobbies we love so much. We can relax, just taking from the world what we want to take and leaving the worries and responsibilities to someone else.
All this needs planning and financing
There will be other activities which need planning and financing. For those who like to travel, explore and see more of the world there is not only the time but also the technology to do it. If you can’t physically get to see a friend on the other side of the world then you can just chat to them on the computer. It could be a time to take up new daring activities you have always wanted to do, join groups which will open the world to new friendships and relationships.
In other words, retirement is now a zone in your life to look forward to and prepare for – just as much as you prepared for education and learning in your childhood years or trained and followed a career in your working years. Indeed, if prepared for in a systematic way, it could be the most enjoyable period of your life.
So many benefits from preparing early
It feels a little strange preparing for your retirement when you are just beginning work. It may also feel like something you do not really want to face – or can even face seriously – when you are first exploring the world of work. But preparing financially for your retirement years is essential in the 21st century. The earlier you begin saving for your retirement – whether it is via a work pension, a private pension or a personal pension – the bigger and more robust the fund and the final pay-out will be. The earlier you access regulated financial advice to help you navigate the world of pensions, the less time you will waste and the more on target your savings pot is likely to be.
Though it may be difficult to contemplate your retirement if you are quite young, try to think of it as providing an income for yourself after your work income has finished. Obviously, we cannot know exactly what the world will look like in fifty years, but if the investment is monitored, as well as taking into account changes in options and financial legislation, you have a much better chance of getting the maximum from your savings and pension contributions.
Just one final thought. Now you can access your pension savings from 55. This can be useful when you need that extra bit of cash for mounting debts or just to give yourself a well-earned treat. So, in saving and monitoring for your later years you are creating a strong foundation for more than just your retirement. It should be noted that taking money from your pension is not right for everyone. It should not be seen as an easy way to raise cash when it could leave you short of much needed income in retirement.