Retirement planning: The importance of setting out your lifestyle goals

What they say

When you start thinking about the steps you need to take when retiring, your focus might be on the financial side. Yet, it’s often a good idea to start with your lifestyle aspirations.

Last month, you read about the different options when deciding how you’ll retire. Now, it’s time to consider what your ideal retirement lifestyle would look like.

Setting out your retirement lifestyle may be useful for several reasons, including:

  • Giving your retirement plan a focus
  • Helping ensure your financial plan reflects your aspirations
  • Informing the financial decisions you make.

So, if you’ve yet to think about what your life will look like once you stop working, it could be a rewarding task.

3 useful questions to answer when setting out your retirement lifestyle

Being clear about what you’d like your retirement to look like could help turn it into reality. These three questions may be a useful place to start.

1. What are you most looking forward to about retirement?

One of the main reasons people often look forward to retirement is that they’ll have more free time – so it’s worth thinking about what you’re most looking forward to spending time on.

According to an Aegon report, more than half of those nearing retirement are hoping to spend more time with loved ones. In addition, 45% plan to use retirement to see more of the world by travelling, and a third are looking forward to having the free time to pursue new hobbies.

Focusing on what brings you joy can help you build a life after work that is rich and fulfilling.

2. What does your ideal daily retirement routine look like?

When you set out what you’re looking forward to, you might focus on the larger aspects, like exploring a new destination for several weeks each summer. Yet, you shouldn’t overlook daily life that will make up much of your time – how do you want to spend your average day?

3. How will you maintain social connections?

According to Age UK, 1.4 million older people in the UK are often lonely. Social connections are important for wellbeing and could help you enjoy the next stage of your life much more.

Your working relationships might play an important role in your life now. So, it may be valuable to consider how you’ll maintain existing social connections and forge new ones.

For example, you could arrange to see your grandchildren after school each week or provide childcare during the school holidays. Or you may want to join a social club that allows you to meet new people who have similar interests. 

Clear lifestyle goals could help ease the emotional challenges of retiring too

When you assess the retirement challenges you could face, financial matters could once again top the list.

You might be concerned about running out of money in your later years, or the effect inflation could have on your spending power. Indeed, in a Legal & General survey, 94% of people said their most important retirement dream was to feel financially secure for the rest of their life. Money worries were also the biggest cause of pre-retirement angst.

Yet, the emotional side of retiring can present obstacles too. It can be difficult to step away from the routine and social side of work that may have played an important role in your life for decades.

It’s normal to feel some apprehension about the milestone or to face emotional challenges once you retire. Putting your lifestyle goals at the centre of your retirement plan could ease some of the concerns you might have. 

Contact us to talk about turning your retirement plans into a reality

Financial plans often start with understanding your goals and lifestyle aspirations. If you’re approaching retirement and want to create a plan you could have confidence in, please contact us to arrange a meeting.

Next month, read our blog to learn more about the financial decisions you might make, including how to use your pension, as you approach retirement.

Please note: This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.

A pension is a long-term investment not normally accessible until 55 (57 from April 2028). The fund value may fluctuate and can go down, which would have an impact on the level of pension benefits available. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

The tax implications of pension withdrawals will be based on your individual circumstances. Thresholds, percentage rates, and tax legislation may change in subsequent Finance Acts.