10 years to Retirement
Time to finalise your plans
Ten years to go! Are you feeling excited about having all that time to yourself? Bit of trepidation about how things might change?
Absolutely scared to death?
Forget all the media talk about ageing and those policemen who look like they are just out of nappies. You know already that 50 is not old, heck 60 is not old. Not anymore. And retirement is likely to be one big opportunity to live out some dreams. If you can just make sure you have the money to pay for it.
Well, with ten years to go, it's time to start thinking about it more seriously. Considering what you want. Deciding where you want to go. Considering what is actually important to you.
It might not seem very long, but it is still long enough to make a difference.
So here is our checklist of things to get you started:
✓ Your debts
If you are one of those people still running credit card debts, and paying interest to banks when you should be spending it on yourself, it's time to stop.
It is possible this is going to take some sacrifice. But it will be worth it. Every penny you save now can go towards your future - and every penny you pay off will reduce the income you need when you get there.
Let's get those savings into your pocket.
✓ The house
Mortgages are a bigger issue than cards and may be all but gone by now. But if you got caught up in that interest-only frenzy they allowed us back in the 90s, it might mean you are further away from repayment than you'd hoped.
Take some time to focus on the payments and do what you can to reduce them. There are so many benefits to having equity in your house as you head into retirement. You really don't want to have to give up that potential freedom before you've even managed to collect your leaving present.
✓ Do your budget plan
Get out the bank statements. Yes, tedious, I know. But now is the perfect time to revisit your expenses. And that's even more important if you have to deal with either of the above.
Can you free up any more income to make any top ups to your pension funds and maximise their value as the date draws near? Any subscriptions you can cancel or insurance premiums you can review?
If you'd like a template to help keep count of where you are, we've got a copy you can download right here >
✓ Get creative
Enough of us getting all pious and stern about what you need to do. This is the start of the enjoyable bit. Time to decide what you actually want in retirement.
Your future is about to offer you one of the longest holidays you have ever had. Weeks of Saturdays, zero Mondays. And no employer setting the rules. The chance to do only what you want to do.
Now of course, that might not mean giving up work. It might involve starting a business. Perhaps you want to travel the world. Or perhaps you want to spend your time with friends and family, supporting the kids, or a local charity. It's your retirement plan and it should involve what makes YOU happy.
So, take some time out. Have a think. List out all your thoughts and dreams. Enjoy the process. Make it fun. Brainstorm with your other half. With friends. With the wider family. Until you come up with your list. The one that makes you look at the future, not with dread, but with a huge great big smile on your face.
In fact, if you want to get really serious, we have a support pack that can help >
✓ Consider your portfolio
At this stage, you probably don't need to start any serious consolidation of your assets. However, you might want to start dialling down the risk profile a little.
Or at least reassessing where it's held, to make sure you feel comfortable.
The worst thing that could happen now is for all that growth you have achieved over recent years to be wiped out by a last minute market crash. You are not yet into last minute territory - but you could start to pick off the higher risk elements - and perhaps adjust your allocations.
✓ Get a retirement forecast
This is getting even more important now, but make sure you use a retirement calculator, or sign up for the pilot scheme of our brand new set of assessment tools.
You really ought to take a look at what you've got and what it will mean in the future. Even a few extra £s might make a difference to your final situation. But unless you know where you are, you won't know whether you have any gaps - or what you need to do to close them.
So get calculating.
✓ Consider speaking to someone
Research has found that those who use a financial adviser to help with their retirement planning are an average £40,000 better off* than those who do not. And three times more likely to have saved over £150,000**.
So why not have a chat and see how financial advice might help you? Or even a bit of guidance. At the very least, it should give you the reassurance that you've checked out all the options available to you - and nothing has been missed.
And many apologies, this is blatant self-promotion - but we really don't charge very much for our financial support. Support that will tell you what you have, what it will be worth - and if necessary, what to do about it.
Maybe we can persuade you to take a look...
A pension is a long term investment. The fund value may fluctuate and can go down. Your eventual income may depend upon the size of the fund at retirement, future interest rates and tax legislation.
* ILC/Royal London, Value of advice research June 17
** LIMRA SRI, Based on a survey carried out in the US, published March 2015. £150,000 is quoted as the UK equivalent of $250,000