Planning For Retirement

Nowadays we all try to live healthier and more active lifestyles. And the result is clear, because we’re now living longer than ever before. After retirement, you can expect to live a long time, with a lifestyle quite different to what you had before, because you no longer have the structured schedule that comes with working life. While some embrace this time to focus on hobbies and interest, others may struggle with a range of emotions from guilt, to boredom, change in feelings of self worth, frustration and fear. We’ve put together some suggestions to help with the transition from working life.

Give yourself time: Adjusting to retired life is not something that will happen overnight, and your emotions regarding it may vary from day to day. You may feel guilty that you no longer work or feel anxious about being bored without a work schedule. Try to remember that like any big change in life, it will take time for you to become accustomed to what comes with retirement.

Try a course or take up a new class: Retirement is the perfect time to try some courses or night classes that you felt you didn’t have the time for before. Choose from a variety of courses that can vary in duration, from 3 weeks to 4 years.

Take up a new hobby or pastime: Having less structured days allows you to take up a new hobby or learn new skills that you may have put off in the past due to time restrictions, such as guitar lessons and gardening. Staying active through exercise such as walking, yoga and swimming which will keep your mind and body boosted and healthy.

Volunteer: Volunteering is a good way of ensuring an active retirement. There are countless organisations seeking those to share some of their time, such as schools, animal shelters, churches, helplines, museums, libraries and those that perhaps involve some skills you acquired through your career such as a legal advisor, maintenance volunteer, event organiser or charity shop retail assistant.

Get political: Political campaigns are always in need of a helping hand, be it fundraising, organising events, administrative work, or contacting potential voters. You could also join environmental or community groups that tackle issues you feel passionate about.

Travel: Increased opportunity to travel and take trips is a definite plus side to retirement. You can take advantage of greater flexibility in choosing when and for how long you holiday, without worrying about taking holiday leave from your employment.

Socialise: It’s important to keep in contact with friends from your work circle as much as possible and to get out and socialise with them. This way you won’t feel like all your time is spent exclusively at home. Taking classes, volunteering and attending exercise classes present opportunities to meet new friends too, often other retirees with similar interests.

It’s important to consider not only the social side of your retirement, but also the financial side. The current state pension, if you qualify for it, is approximately €12,000 per year (Source: Department of Social Protection, 18 May 2017) which will cover the basics. However, it won’t allow you to keep up any of the hobbies, luxuries or extras that you have always enjoyed. This is where a personal pension can help you maintain the standard of living you’ve been used to.

Check your PRSI record
So be sure to check this in the run up to your retirement so that you can find out how much of a State pension you'll receive. Should it be the case that you won't get as much of a pension as you had expected, you will need to prepare yourself financially.

Calculate any gap in your retirement savings
You can use our simple Pension Gap Calculator to work out how much you will need in your private pension or savings to avoid the pension gap.

Pension options
The 4 main options are: Taking a tax-free cash lump sum, taking a taxed cash lump sum, buying an annuity (i.e a regular income in retirement), or investing in an Approved Retirement Fund and/or Approved Minimum Retirement Fund. Speak to your financial broker to understand exactly what options your pension allows.

For more information on personal pensions click here, speak to your financial broker or contact a member of our pensions team on 1890 64 64 64.

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Aviva Life & Pensions Ireland Designated Activity Company, a private company limited by shares. Registered in Ireland No. 165970. Registered office at One Park Place, Hatch Street, Dublin 2, D02 E651. Aviva Life & Pensions Ireland Designated Activity Company, trading as Aviva Life & Pensions Ireland and Friends First, is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Tel (01) 898 7950.