A chance to explore new opportunities or carry on working on your terms

A generation ago, retirement meant stopping work completely and winding down. By contrast, the present generation – the baby-boomers – are much more likely to see it as a fresh start with a chance to explore new opportunities or carry on working on their terms.

 

More affluent lives

We’re living longer, healthier and often more affluent lives. Today some retirees can expect to spend 20 or more years in retirement. The state pension age is rising, so many of us may have to work for longer before we can claim our pension benefits. It’s unlikely that the state will become more generous in the future, and fewer companies are offering final salary pension schemes.

Taking greater responsibility

All of which means that we will need to take greater responsibility for our pension plans. On a positive note, the pension system has become more flexible, so now you don’t have to purchase an annuity with your pension pot if this option is not appropriate for your particular situation. In addition, if you have a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) you have the option of leaving your pension pot invested and drawing an income from it, subject to certain limitations.

Create your own vision

These days there is no blueprint for retirement – you have to create your own vision of what you want from life after work. You might want to sell up and start a new life abroad. Popular destinations include Spain, France, USA, Canada and Ireland.

Or you might prefer to stay in the UK but move closer to family and friends. At some point you might choose to downsize, perhaps to release some capital, cut your outgoings or help your children financially.

Of course, retirement doesn’t have to mean a full stop to your working life. You might ease yourself in, cutting back the number of days a week that you work, or take on contract work. You might even decide to become an ‘olderpreneur’ and start your own business.