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Contrary to popular belief, planning for retirement doesn’t just entail moving on from working life.

While our careers can be stressful, work does give us things which contribute to our overall wellbeings such as connections with others, challenge, a sense of achievement and a reason to get out of bed on a morning. Good retirement planning should involve ideas for how to bring these elements into your life as well as ensuring you have enough income to last.

Unfortunately, people often only see the sharp contrast between working and not working and so fail to plan beyond exiting the office for the final time to cheers and well-wishes from envious colleagues.

In an ideal world, planning for retirement should begin alongside the start of working life, something which has been made easier by the introduction of the auto-enrolment legislation. Unfortunately, when younger, pension provisions and long-term savings are often overlooked for more immediate requirements like child care or buying a home.

In a financial sense, working with a Financial Planner while you’re accruing your pension can make a big difference to the outcome and may mean the difference between staying in your job for another few years or enjoying quality time with your family and getting on with the things you enjoy.

Working out how much you’ll need in retirement isn’t straightforward. Many assume that they’ll need the same coming in from their pension as they receive in their salary each month. In reality, retirement isn’t quite as linear as that and the amount you need may actually rise and fall.

It may be that you settle your mortgage, particularly if you receive large a lump sum from your pension. On the other hand, if you’re now likely to be home all day, your heating and food bills may go up.

It’s also important to remember that while you’ll hopefully have a long and healthy life, at some stage your world is likely to get a little bit smaller as you age and find it increasingly difficult to travel or keep up with any more intense hobbies. At this stage you may end up needing assistance or specialist care and therefore the bills might start to rise again.

Unless one has a magic mirror, planning for retirement is difficult but working with a Financial Planner can bring some comfort and certainty. A Financial Planner can help make sure that the assets that you have accrued throughout your life all work together to achieve the best outcome for you.

Vintage can help in planning for unexpected events to give you peace of mind that no matter what happens, you and your family are comfortable. We have access to specialist cash flow modelling software, to ‘test’ various scenarios to see what would happen to your spending power in various situations so you can be as sure as you can be that the decisions you come to are right for you and your family.

It’s important to bear in mind that this type of planning shouldn’t be a one-off exercise. Our lives change constantly whether we realise it or not. You should review your plans at least annually to make sure you’re still on track to not only do all the things you want to but also make sure you’re still covered should anything untoward happen.

Our 30-year experience and broad bank of financial planning knowledge mean we’ve helped lots of people enjoy the retirement they’d hoped for.

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This post was written by Karen Parker