How to Save for Retirement 0

save for retirement

There are a number of different ways to save for retirement and which option is best for you will largely depend on personal circumstance. However, most experts suggest a combination of saving techniques as the most sensible approach to take.

 

While straightforward savings accounts give you easier access to your funds in case of an emergency, pensions and investments can result in greater returns. It’s also important to think about the ways you can mitigate against rising costs and larger expenditures as you get older. Committing to a funeral plan is a great example of one way you can avoid paying out large amounts once you hit retirement. With this in mind we take a look at a few of the key ways you can save for retirement.

save for retirement

Straightforward savings

The simplest, though perhaps not always the best, way of saving for retirement is using a traditional savings account and ensuring you put a set amount of money away each month. There are a number of savings accounts to choose from, including ISAs, instant access ISAs, notice accounts and National Savings accounts, so do your research and work out what type of account is best for you. Make sure you think about how easily you want to be able to access your savings, how much interest you want to be earning and whether there are any additional features you require before signing up.

 

Investment

Though there’s always a little bit of risk involved in investing your savings, it can result in much larger returns on your money. If you have experience of the financial markets and feel comfortable making investment decisions on your own, there’s no need to look for outside help. However, if you feel you could benefit from some guidance, it may be best to talk to investment specialists. Though they will either charge a fee or take a percentage of your returns, it is probably a more secure way of investing your hard-earned cash.

 

Pensions

Pensions are an important mechanism for ensuring you have enough money to last you during retirement. Though everyone has a small state pension, most people pay into a private scheme that’s either operated by their employer or a private company. It’s worth noting that you have no obligation to pay into your employer’s pension scheme, and sometimes it is worth keeping your options open. There’s a wide range of pension schemes to choose between, so it’s worth taking the time and effort to explore your options before beginning your payments. Look for an established provider with an excellent reputation to ensure your money isn’t mishandled in any way.

 

Funeral Plan

Finally, it’s a good idea to look at ways you can minimise expenditure later in life to ensure your savings go further. One of the key ways of doing this is by looking into funeral plans. Though the benefits of such schemes vary depending on the company you go with, plans like the Beyond Open Plan tie the cost of your funeral to current price levels. This can mean enormous savings when you consider the fact that funeral costs are expected to rise to an astonishing £10,203 within the next 12 years, while the average funeral comes in at just £3,800 now. By ensuring you’re prepared and taking action now, you could make your savings stretch a lot further.

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When should you start thinking about your own funeral? 1

thinking about your own funeral

Although there is no prescribed age at which you should begin thinking about your own funeral, there’s a number of reasons you shouldn’t leave it too late. Here we take a look at why it’s best to take a more practical approach and to start contemplating how you would like your own funeral to be at a much younger age.

 thinking about your own funeral

You’re never too young…

Ultimately, you’re never too young to start thinking about your own funeral. Though it may sound slightly macabre to talk about funeral arrangements before a funeral becomes a likely proposition, there are a number of advantages to beginning to contemplate what you would want from a memorial service and how you’re going to finance it. Often, planning ahead can leave you in a better financial position, make you feel more secure and help to ensure your funeral is exactly how you would like it to be.

 

Talking about death

One of the key advantages of beginning to think and talk about your funeral arrangements at a younger age is that it encourages us to talk about death and dying. In a number of ways, contemporary society is incredibly uncomfortable with death and has managed to sideline and hide it from view. We use euphemisms instead of referring to death directly, avoid discussions surrounding the topic, and try to push it from our minds as much as possible. Rather than accepting it as a part of life and treating it as such, death has become somewhat of a taboo subject. This can be both an unhealthy and unhelpful approach to take, so it’s important to start talking more openly at a younger age about death, dying and funerals.

 

Funeral Plan

There’s also a more practical reason for starting to think about your own funeral at an earlier stage in your life. If you begin by looking at the Beyond Open Plan, you’ll discover that such a plan freezes the price of a funeral at today’s rates. With the cost of funeral services expected to rise at an incredible rate over the next few years, this could save you an enormous amount of money in the long run. Not only does it guarantee a cheaper funeral, it gives you complete control over the arrangements, ensuring everything’s exactly as you want it.

 

It can be a comfort to your family

Organising a funeral is difficult, especially if you’re grieving. You want to make sure that every detail is as your loved one would have wanted it, from the music to the dress code. If you haven’t recorded your wishes anywhere, this places an added burden onto your family.

 

It only gets harder

Finally, it’s also important to think about what happens if you leave your funeral plans to the last minute. For some people, making their own funeral arrangements later in life doesn’t really pose a problem. For others, it can be extremely difficult. As we get older, when death becomes a more realistic proposition and we’re confronted with our own mortality, it can be a challenge to talk about these important issues. Rather than discussing them with family members or friends, many people avoid their fear of death by sidestepping the subject, leaving them unprepared at the end of their lives. By starting to talk about death at a younger age, we can ensure this isn’t the case.

Why It’s Important to Set Goals in Later Life 0

set goals

Whether it’s writing your bucket list, looking after your physical fitness or simply getting those important jobs out of the way, setting goals is a vital component in planning for the future and ensuring that life meets your expectations.

 

This is particularly true as you get older. Not only do you have to think about the ways you would like to spend your retirement, there’s your health to maintain and important financial decisions, such as taking out a funeral plan to make. By setting goals in all aspects of your life, you give yourself a clearly defined objective to work towards and make achieving it that much easier. Here, we take a look at a few more reasons why it can be a good idea to set goals as you get older.

set goals in later life

Fresh perspective

Though most people focus on the benefits of working hard towards their goals, it’s also important to note the positive aspects inherent in the actual goal-setting process. By sitting down and taking the time to think about the areas of your life on which you would like to focus, where you would like to improve yourself and what things are important to you as an individual, you can often get a fresh perspective on how you’re living life and what can be changed. It’s all too easy to go through life without asking these difficult questions of yourself, so any opportunity to do so should be embraced.

 

Looking after your health

Whether you’re setting physical fitness goals or more general lifestyle goals, having a plan of action and knowing how you want to spend your time is incredibly important to remaining fit and healthy. While all physical exercise, no matter how gentle or intermittent it is, helps maintain healthy body functions, other hobbies, activities and excursions also help to ensure your mind gets a workout too.

 

Keep learning

As you get older, there’s often a tendency to slow down and begin to drop or stop activities and hobbies that you have maintained for many years. While there’s no problem with slowing down -it’s only natural as you age- it’s important to ensure that life doesn’t become a matter of sitting back and simply observing and reminiscing.

 

Such an attitude can often lead to a type of mentality that considers life already lived, with there being nothing left to strive for. No matter your age, this simply isn’t true. By setting goals and keeping motivated, you can stave off these unhelpful sensations and continue to live a fulfilling and purposeful life, and keep learning new things.

 

Making the most of your time

Setting goals in later life is all about making the most of your time and ensuring you do things that you feel are important and valuable.

 

For many people, retirement offers freedom from the 9-5 commitments of professional life and the opportunity to live a largely pressure-free and enjoyable life. Most of us will have worked hard for the majority of our lives in expectation of a comfortable retirement. Consequently, setting goals to ensure you remain active not only makes the most of your free time, but also makes the most of all those years working hard to earn such a retirement. Planning ahead and prioritising certain goals allows you to justify all of those years spent working by ensuring you enjoy those yet to come.

 

The reward

Finally, setting goals is important in later life because of the incredible amount of satisfaction achieving them brings about. Although this is true of setting and achieving goals in any stage of your life, the feeling is oftened amplified as we got older and begin to think of ourselves as less able or less likely to do the things that are important to us.

 

By setting goals and working hard to achieve them, we give ourselves the opportunity to feel that satisfaction time and time again, whether it’s something as simple as redecorating the house or as life-changing as learning a new language.

 

If you need some goal inspiration, check out our bucket list ideas article.