Retirement is often seen as the end of one chapter and the beginning of the next. Planning for it isn’t just about getting your money organised, although that’s obviously very important.

Depending on your circumstances, you may want to take the opportunity to completely change your lifestyle, move home, start a new business, travel the world, learn a new skill or simply put your feet up. And like all big projects in life, the more time you can invest in thinking it through, the better the outcome will be.

Freedom brings with it a greater individual responsibility

Managing your money
Getting financial planning advice before accessing your pension pot can go a long way to help alleviate financial worries later on in life. With longevity increasing, more people than ever will spend longer in retirement than previous generations. The changes in legislation have given those about to retire far greater freedom when it comes to using their pension pot, but freedom brings with it greater individual responsibility. Low-interest rates and periods of market volatility can make income planning for the future a difficult task without professional advice. It is generally agreed that spending in retirement tends to follow a u-shaped curve. People often spend more money in the early, more active years of their retirement, with spending decreasing in the middle years and increasing again later in life when additional care and medical expenses are more likely to be required.

Budgeting for your lifestyle
It makes sense to begin drawing up a budget for your retirement that covers your likely income needs. There are various factors to consider. You may have income from employment, equally, you could choose to give up work altogether and tick off the items on your bucket list. You may decide to downsize from a family home to a smaller retirement apartment that is cheaper to run and means you can extract some equity to bolster your income.

You may want to help children or grandchildren financially by paying for school fees or helping them with a deposit for a home of their own. You will also have to plan for a time when you might need to pay for help around the house, and for the likelihood of needing medical and nursing care in your later years. Taking professional advice can help by creating a roadmap for your financial future.