The little ones have Father Christmas. What do we have? We make lists of what weâd like to do when we retire â but the only person whoâll deliver those gifts is us. Better start your tax wrapping nowâ¦
Being retired is a bit like being a kid again â you have a lot more time on your hands and potentially a lot to look forward to. But unlike children, we canât just go to sleep and wait for the good things to come to us. Thatâs why we save our money in a tax wrapper â better known as a pension.
If your retirement were a Christmas stocking, what would be on your list? Here are some popular favourites (and not a tangerine in sightâ¦)
Travelling and holidays
Most of us would love to see the world, or to see it again if we travelled in our youth (but this time from somewhere comfortable without en suite cockroaches). According to research by unbiased.co.uk, more than 60 per cent of people cite travel as a retirement ambition. Weâre assuming, of course, that weâll be more solvent in later life than we were in our student days â but that wonât automatically be the case.
Being the person you always wanted to be
How might you change once you no longer have to go into the office every day? Some might dub it the âlate life crisisâ, but thereâs nothing to be ashamed of in cutting loose and rediscovering another you. Weâve already talked about this kind of retirement planning â all you need to discover a brand new life is an open mind (and a dependable income).
A desk that says âBossâ on it
One of the ways you might reinvent yourself is as the director of your own business. Up to one in ten people plan to launch their own business venture in retirement, according to research by Royal London in their report, Pensions Through The Ages. Take a look at our article here to find out how you might join the ranks of the silver start-ups.
â¦youâve had your eye on since you were fifteen. Yes, itâs a clichÃ© of pension freedom â the rash pensioner blowing his savings on a Lamborghini â but itâs true that nearly ten per cent of people near retirement do hanker after a head-turning set of wheels. Which is absolutely fine. Just so long as you donât have to skimp on the housekeeping to pay for it.
Excitement and adventure
According to Royal London up to 12 per cent of people wonât be satisfied just with travelling â theyâd like to try some death-defying action such as bungee-jumping and skydiving. Thereâs probably no better time of life to give it a go â just make sure that your insurance is in place and that your will is up to date!
Keep working â on your own termsÂ
We talk about retirement as if work is a bad thing â but many people love their job and their co-workers and would be sad to leave it all behind. What we may not like about work is the lack of freedom and flexibility. But if you phase your retirement and move to part-time working rather than stopping completely, you can have the best of both worlds.
Leave a legacy for your family
Giving is better than receiving, right? Certainly 30 per cent of people in Royal Londonâs research thought so, stating that they wanted to leave a good inheritance for their loved ones. Pension freedom offers interesting new ways to do this, and there are also plenty of other tips you can try to minimise inheritance tax for your family.
We know Father Christmas is too busy bringing gifts to children to spare much time for us adults. The only Santa whoâll take care of you in later life is yourself â so now is the time to save. More than two-thirds of people approaching retirement donât think theyâll have enough to fund their preferred lifestyle, but by seeking advice in good time (and not leaving it to the last minute, like the Christmas shopping) we can promise ourselves a long list of presents to look forward to.