Retirement may seem a long way off, and perhaps you find pensions a rather daunting subject. But you owe it to yourself to take care of your financial future. After a lifetime of hard work, don’t you deserve a decent pension?

 

In this issue we give you an overview of the type of things you should be thinking about as you get closer to retirement.

 

Five years to go…

 

Consider whether you want to make any major structural alterations to your home. If so, do it now.

 

Carry out a final check on the amount of pension you are likely to get. Start putting extra into your pension if it’s not enough.

 

Will your mortgage be fully paid off by the time you retire? If not, think about paying off any remaining mortgage using your tax-free lump sum. As this money has never been taxed, it’s a very efficient way to get rid of the mortgage.

 

Four years to go…

 

Carefully watch your credit card and department store card spending. If you usually carry forward a large amount to repay on your card(s), start clearing it now as best you can so that you are as close to debt free as possible when you retire. Do the same with any overdrafts or anything you’ve bought on credit.

 

Three years to go…

 

Getting an idea of what you’re going to do when you retire? It’s time to stock up on the kit you’ll need to keep yourself amused; it might be time to buy a new set of golf-clubs, your fishing tackle might be the worse for wear, maybe you should buy that camera you’ve always wanted?

 

Get tough with the kids! Get them to clear out ‘their’ rooms and stake your claim for yourself. You could turn it into a study or gamesroom or even a darkroom if you’ve bought the camera!

 

Two years to go…

 

Time for a stock-take. Anything that needs to be fixed or ‘done-up’ should be done now. Remember, it might be replacing the boiler, improving the insulation or putting in double glazing, as all these things will save you money in the long run.

 

Have a look over the washing machine, the fridge and the TV… do they need to be replaced or do they have some life in them yet?

 

One year to go…

 

Time to look at how you’ll get around. If you’re in a company scheme you might have a company car. If so, now’s the time to think about how you’ll replace it once the company takes it back. And even if you don’t, remember your bus-pass, it’ll be like being a student again!

 

You’ve just retired…

 

Time to kick back and enjoy the fruits of your labours…But remember to; Get up – Dress up – and Look up!