A happy retirement doesn’t just happen by itself. You’ve got to make it happen, and that involves lots of careful planning and asking yourself what you really want from your post-working life.
The most obvious answer to that question is money, as we all want financial security when we retire.
But that’s not all. We’ll want financial freedom too, so we can enjoy the life we want to live, and perhaps the one we’ve always dreamed of, without having to count the pennies.
That leads us nicely on to the other factors that contribute to a happy retirement.
For example, many will prioritise living in a desirable area, with house prices that they can afford, good amenities close by, such as shops and healthcare, low crime rates and plenty of green spaces locally.
Some, meanwhile, might also want to enjoy an active lifestyle, so they’d choose somewhere that offers opportunities to enjoy their chosen hobbies and pastimes, volunteer or build a social group with like-minded people.
If these things are of value to you, it’s important that you consider them as you plan for retirement and make sure you’re saving or investing enough money. Otherwise, you may not be able to afford to live in an area that offers what you want.
Retirement should be a special time, when you can relax, indulge in leisure pursuits and enjoy precious family moments free of worry. But that’s less likely to happen if you haven’t taken the appropriate steps to maximise your income in later life and worked out exactly how much you’re likely to need to do the things you want to do.
A financial planner can work with you to put together a bespoke retirement plan, with your circumstances, needs, priorities and goals being considered every step of the way.
With the right advice and support, you’ll be in a much better position to set up your finances in a way that pays off for you in retirement.
Where are the best places to retire?
There’s no single answer to this question, as every person will have their own unique wishes and ambitions for retirement. So, we’ll focus our attention on places that you could reasonably say tick lots of boxes for a lot of people.
Guardian Carers commissioned research that analysed more than 250 local authority areas in England, based on popular financial and lifestyle factors, and put Broxbourne in Hertfordshire in first place.
The town topped the rankings partly because locals have the most access to green space, including parks, public gardens and playing fields.
Richmond upon Thames came second, again because it has an abundance of green space, as well as good access to healthcare and relatively low crime figures.
Stoke-on-Trent came in at an impressive third, partly because average house prices in the area are less than half of the national average, making it an affordable option for many retirees.
Of course, every single person will have their own idea of what retirement means to them and what they want out of this time of their life.
But with people living longer than ever before, it’s crucial that we think about those aspects of life that we can easily take for granted, such as access to a doctor or pharmacy, or proximity to a park, as we plan for the future.
If you have any questions about planning for retirement and how you can achieve your lifestyle goals, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.