I know when I retired, it was a very stressful time. It was a complete change from what I’d been doing for so many years, I lost control of my normal routine. On top of the issue of what to do with myself with all the new time available, there was the question of money. Most people in retirement want to keep a certain lifestyle intact. Here are some tips that I followed to help budgeting in retirement:
The whole point may be that you wanted to stop working, in which case move on, but I know that some people still believe they have to stop working when they reach retirement age. The default retirement age was removed back in 2011, there’s nothing to stop you carrying on working or taking part-time work to help with income.
Older workers don’t pay any National Insurance which would boost the money in your pocket. It is also perfectly fine to draw your pension even if you’re still working. Both simply count towards income for your tax calculation.
Pensions are a vital part of retirement, and even though many of us have saved into them for many years, they may still seem very hard to understand. I was certainly in this position and kept putting it off. In the end I had to face up to this challenge, I left it a little late, it really is best if you do it before you retire.
Rules have changed significantly over the past few years too so it’s important to get the latest facts. There are many, many resources on the internet that helped me with what to do with my pension. You could also seek independent financial advice to determine what the best course of action is for you.
Once I knew what income I had coming in, I needed to work out what I had going out and whether the two things were compatible. Did I need to make savings? I pulled together my bills so I knew how much I spend on utilities, telephone and other regular items.
Armed with those, I used one of the many retirement budget calculators available free on the internet. They take very little time if you have the information to hand and will soon show you what your financial position will look like.
I had to be reminded that there are a number of entitlements that you have once you reach retirement age. Over a million pensioners in the UK are failing to claim the benefits they’re entitled to according to the Government.
Eliminating waste was my first place to start. I’d always buy too much shopping and end up throwing food and other items away. That was the first thing to stop. I became hooked on shopping around for items and now try to compare items before buying. Where possible and practical obviously! I avoid impulse buying. Cashback deals etc. were created to try and get me to part with more money!
I saved a significant amount of money by switching electricity and gas suppliers. Recent research shows that those switching save over £400 a year with some saving in excess of £700. The good news is that the people saving the most on average were in the 55-64 age range!
I spend on average 15% of my outgoings on travel, so it’s not an insignificant expense. I now shop around for my car insurance and plan my cars fuel refills so that I visit a cheaper petrol station, rather than simply a convenient one. It might sound boring, but I’ve stopped driving like Stirling Moss, you really can save a significant amount of fuel by driving sensibly!