Retirement usually means a drop in income, which can create new worries about your future. Many people fear that retirement will bring a drop in living standards, half of over 50s even considering emigration as a way to keep the cost of living down. As well as these everyday concerns, after retirement you are likely to feel the impact of unexpected financial problems more keenly. There are several things you can do to prepare for any unexpected costs and to ensure that you enjoy a relaxing, stress-free retirement.
If you are not yet retired, then it is a good idea to make sure that all important preparations are made in advance. If you have private or employer pension arrangements in place, ensure you know how much income you are likely to receive from them, and whether any options might be open to you for increasing it.
If you have spent a portion of your life out of work for any reason, you may also want to check that you have enough National Insurance stamps to qualify for the full state pension. It is possible to buy extra stamps voluntarily, and these are often a sound investment if it is necessary to increase your pension.
However careful you are, there is always the risk that your home or its contents will suffer from unexpected damage. Fire, extreme weather, and hazards such as falling trees can sometimes be impossible to completely guard your home against. It might therefore be worth investing in home insurance to minimise the financial impact of any disaster, especially if you live in an at-risk area.
Age UK buildings and contents insurance is a specialised, affordable, and comprehensive home insurance plan for the over 50s. On offer from the well-known charity Age UK, it provides protection against weather and natural disasters, fire, crime and many other areas you might have to worry about. An insurance policy such as this can be a huge boost to your peace of mind.
Maximise Your Savings
To ensure you are prepared for retirement, it is a good idea to ensure you are getting the most out of your savings. In particular, it is a good idea to make sure you are getting the best interest. Unless you are loyal to your current bank, for example because they have always given you excellent service, it is worth shopping around for the best interest rates.
Some accounts offer very high interest rates, with the catch that you have to tie your savings up completely for a certain number of years. This may not sound ideal, but if you are confident you can do without the savings in the intervening period this can add up to a noticeable financial boost when your retirement comes around and you are more in need.
Excluding those high-interest investments, ISAs usually offer the best interest rates. A stocks and shares ISA can be more profitable than a cash ISA, and is often worth considering. However, these come with an element of risk, and the associated investments require greater maintenance, so they are most definitely not for everybody.
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