Retirement can be surprisingly expensive, especially during the first few years. Most of us put off travelling, going on holidays, and fulfilling at least some of our lifelong ambitions until we leave work, and this typically means additional expenses can accrue soon after we reach retirement age.
Fortunately, being retired means that there are some cost reductions that occur naturally, while some simple changes can help to greatly reduce the amount you are spending. You don’t have to forego all of life’s pleasures; after all, you’ve earned your retirement so you should be allowed to make the most of your time off work.
There’s no reason to avoid downsizing property any longer. The upheaval may have put you off while you were working full time, but with no job to fill your time, retirement represents the perfect opportunity to look around for the ideal property in the perfect location.
The kids will probably have left home, now that you’ve retired, and while the grandkids might come to stay for the odd night, you have to ask yourself whether you really need a 4 bedroom detached home, just for the two of you. By downsizing, you can free up some of the equity in your home, reduce ongoing expenditure on things like energy, and you can limit the amount of cleaning and housework that needs to be done, too.
If you want to retire to the country, or move to the coast in order to enjoy more of your retirement, then downsizing and relocating at the same time is ideal. Research the area that you are considering, ensure that you will have easy access to all the amenities and other features that you require, and do carefully consider your budget.
Many people move to a town or city because they are following their work, or in order to give them a greater chance of finding work. Once you have retired, this is no longer a concern, and you can find some incredible communities that are geared towards the kind of lifestyle that you want to lead now that you have left work. You can find more resources at Russells, regarding moving to Cambridge and enjoying the benefits of relocating after retirement.
Reduce Transport Costs
Even a relatively short drive to and from work every day can soon add up, and with these trips no longer a necessity, you may be able to buy a less expensive car, get rid of your second car, or completely remove your reliability on the family car. While you might not want to cycle everywhere, or go on long treks during the winter months, you are likely to be entitled to bus passes, and you may also find that you can access reduced fees on other forms of transport.
You shouldn’t need to travel at peak times anymore, either, which means that you can avoid paying the higher rates associated with peak travel times. Take your holidays during term time, because school holidays are not only the most expensive time to travel, but they are also when most holiday companies, hotels, and other companies charge higher rates.
Spend Your Taxable Money First
Some of your retirement income will be tax free, but it is also possible that at least a portion of your income will be taxable. As a general rule, you should spend your taxable savings and income sources first, because this will mean lower tax bills in the long term.
It is definitely worth talking to a financial advisor when you near retirement age, because they will be able to look at your current financial situation, calculate your savings and investments, and they will be able to advise you of which savings you should spend first, which you should consider converting, and which you should leave alone for as long as possible.
Make The Most Of Concession Discounts
Whether you enjoy going to the theatre, watching sporting events, or travelling the country, there are numerous opportunities for you to take advantage of the fact that you are now retired. Carry some identification and proof that you are retired wherever you go, and don’t be afraid to ask if there are reduced rates for retirees. You might be surprised at the savings you can make, and the freebies that you can collect.
Do It Yourself
When you were working full time, it may have made sense to employ cleaners, to pay for decorators, and to utilise these types of service for cleaning, maintaining, and repairing your home and other assets. However, if you have the practical skills, are able to pick up a duster, and are willing to put in a few hours on the garden every week, then you could save money that you can spend on doing the things you want to do while retired.
Retirement is supposed to be relaxing, and whether you are looking forward to the break or are worried that you will get bored, there are many ways that you can spend your retirement. You don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy once-in-a-lifetime holidays, but by making a few changes, you can save money, reduce expenditure, and enjoy access to a greater pool of money to spend on things you love.
Sean Ryan works in property and also has a financial planning background. He enjoys sharing his ideas and suggestions on property and finances with an online audience and writes for a variety of different websites.