If you’re nearing retirement age, you may well have already started to think about your plans for leaving your working life behind. While many look forward to having more time to focus on hobbies and relaxation, it’s also common to find this dramatic change to be a little overwhelming. With that in mind, we’ve put together some top retirement suggestions to help you prepare for this new period in your life.
Allow yourself time
It’s important to acknowledge that the transition from working life to retirement might take a little while. Any type of change in your day-to-day schedule can be difficult to get used to, so allow yourself time to understand what retirement means to you. To start off, use a notebook to jot down any ideas about how you envision your perfect days, so you have something to look forward to.
Keeping active helps to boost mind and body, so make regular exercise a part of your post-retirement routine. Whether you want to spend your time walking, swimming or playing badminton, joining an exercise class such as yoga is a great way to meet like–minded people. Active Retirement Ireland (ARI) organises hundreds of local associations across Ireland to promote fitness and fun lifestyles.
Socialise with friends and family
Be sure to keep in regular contact with friends and family – if you’re lucky enough to have grandkids, then this is your chance to spend plenty of time with them! Coffee mornings and lunches out are great ways to meet with friends, but weekly calls or video chats are convenient alternatives to keep in touch no matter the distance. If you’re not tech-savvy, Hi Digital is a free online course to help you get up to speed with the basics.
Do something you love
For many, retirement is the perfect time to focus on things you love. Whether it’s a hobby you’ve always enjoyed or you fancy taking on a new challenge, there are endless opportunities. Create your own outdoor sanctuary by getting stuck into gardening, fulfil your long-standing ambition of learning another language, or if you enjoy history, visit the countless museums, ancient abbeys and castles that Ireland has to offer or why not take a road–trip around Ireland, here’s our top four scenic routes.
Volunteer in your local community
At Aviva, caring for our communities is something really close to our hearts. Each year our staff spend many hours supporting causes they care about. Volunteering is an ideal way of ensuring an active retirement; one in which you can share your life skills with others, and learn even more for yourself, too! Helping at your local church, library or school – even if it’s just for a few hours a week – is a highly rewarding way of using your time. Volunteer.ie share lots of brilliant volunteering opportunities across Ireland, where you’re sure to find something that ticks your boxes.
Look after your finances
Perhaps the most worrying aspect for most when looking towards retirement is understanding your finances. There are a number of things that you should check-out when it comes to your finances before you retire, and these can be broken down into three main categories:
1. State Pension
- Do you qualify for the current contributory State pension? If you do, it is approximately €12,000 a year. This is paid to people from the age of 66 who have paid the required PRSI contributions. The Department of Social Protection can give you further information on the qualifying criteria for the State Pension.
2. Pension Options
- Whilst the State Pension will give you the means to fund the basics, making use of any other pension pot will allow you to enjoy and make the most out of your retirement. Our Retirement Guide gives you clear information on the options available whether you are drawing your benefits from a Company or Personal Pension plan.
- If you still have some time before your retirement, talk to a financial advisor to find out exactly what you’ll need to do to give your pension pot a boost.
- If you have a tax-free lump from your pension, you might be considering investing for your later years. To learn more about Aviva’s investment products click here.
At Aviva, we understand planning for retirement isn't everyone's idea of fun. That’s why we aim to keep things simple. You’ll find the basic facts you should know about pensions by clicking here, or you can speak to your financial advisor to understand exactly what options are available to you when you draw down your pension.
We encourage our customers, where possible, to make use of our online options to access any help you need. If you have a query, you can reach us via our Life & Pensions contact form.