If you’re nearing retirement, you may be thinking about a financial plan for the next stage of life. And while the money-side of the process can feel less than exciting, the delicious anticipation of the life you’ve planned for after work makes it all worthwhile. Organising your pension and savings is important for security, but good retirement planning goes further than finances. Setting out lifestyle goals is important too – these will help you get the best from your next chapter.

Here are five questions to think about as you approach retirement to help you get the most out of the financial planning process – and to make sure your aspirations are at the heart of any decisions you make.

1. What are you looking forward to in retirement?

If you’re nearing retirement, you may be excited about the next stage of your life. Setting out what it is you’re looking forward to can help you make decisions that are right for you.

According to the Great British Retirement Survey from interactive investor, 49% of people that haven’t yet retired are looking forward to greater freedom and 42% see retirement as an opportunity for a new business or hobbies.

3 in 10 people still working think their life will improve when they retire. Pinpointing what it is that will make retirement an exciting milestone for you is crucial.

2. How will you fill your days when you retire?

While you may have big plans for your retirement, it can be easy to overlook the day-to-day when you set out your lifestyle.

Going from working full-time to having freedom can be overwhelming at first. Some retirees can find they don’t know how to fill their days initially and you may need a period of adjustment. By setting out how you’d like to spend your time before you retire, you can start building a retirement lifestyle that you find fulfilling.

3. What will give you purpose in retirement?

Much like filling your days, retiring can pose a challenge for some retirees if they feel like they’ve lost their purpose and drive when giving up work.

According to an Aegon report, just 4 in 10 people think about what gives their life joy and purpose.

Considering your driving force is a useful exercise at any point in your life and reviewing this as you retire is an important task.

4. How will you maintain social connections in retirement?

Work can play a pivotal role in your social life. So, when you retire, it can leave a gap.

Thinking about how you’ll maintain or create new social connections can improve your retirement lifestyle. That may mean making sure you stay in touch with family and friends or planning ways to get out of the house to meet new people, like joining a club that interests you.

Research from the National Institute for Health Research found that 1 in 3 people aged 50 years and over in the UK report feeling lonely. A lack of social connections can harm your mental health and has been linked to depression, so your social life in retirement is vital for your overall wellbeing and happiness.

5. Do you have any concerns about retirement?

While you may be looking forward to retirement, it’s natural to have some concerns too.

From worries about your finances to being anxious about the lifestyle change, thinking about your concerns is as important as setting out what you’re looking forward to.

It means you can address any worries that you have and put a plan in place to deal with them. By being proactive, you can really focus on enjoying your retirement to the fullest.

Using your lifestyle goals to shape your financial decisions

Lifestyle aspirations play a crucial role in effective retirement planning, but getting to grips with the finances remains important.

Having a clear idea about what you want to get out of retirement can help shape your financial decisions so they reflect your priorities.

If you want to see more of the world when you initially retire, taking a larger income from your pension during the first few years could make sense. Or if you hope to make workshops, classes, and hobbies a regular part of your schedule, including these costs in your budget can ensure you’re able to fill your days how you want.

By combining lifestyle and finances when you’re retirement planning, you can have confidence in the decisions you make. Please contact us to discuss your retirement and the lifestyle you’re looking forward to.

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