There cannot be a single person in the UK whose life has not been touched by the pandemic, so it’s no wonder that Covid-19 has re-calibrated retirement planning for older workers. If you’re approaching retirement age, you may be looking at the new normal of work more closely than before.
You may be conscious of the need to safeguard your health, or feel uncomfortable with the radical changes to workplace conditions. Working from home may have opened your eyes to a different pace of life. As a result, you may have decided, along with many other seniors, to put your well-being ahead of other considerations and retire early.
The pandemic has also added to the usual stress that comes with leaving decades of work behind for good. Social distancing and restrictions on sporting activities are making it harder for retirees to stay active. Equally, the current restrictions for much-loved indoor hobbies and cultural entertainment mean you simply can’t plan a long-term schedule that would make retirement fulfilling and engaging.
Instead, ditch the idea of an activity schedule and go with the flow. As restrictions ease, new opportunities are emerging all the time. Indeed, you may never have considered a dip in an outdoor lido, but if you love to swim, they are a sensible and available alternative to the open sea .
Making the most of retirement post-lockdown
Here are three suggestion on how you can navigate the retirement transition while still connecting with people, enriching yourself, and having fun.
1. Be together separately
The UK government advice on meeting people from outside your household is constantly in flux but the basic premise is simple: don’t meet too many people at once, meet outside in small groups, keep your social distance, and (as always) wash your hands frequently. Face masks / coverings are already mandatory on public transport and will soon be compulsory in shops. Elsewhere, wearing one is a matter of personal choice.
Back garden get-togethers are a simple and effective way to be social while reducing risk. Check the government website for the latest information on how many people you can have in your garden, and from how many households. For an extra layer of safety, everyone can bring their own food, drinks, and chairs, and come into the garden via a back gate rather than through the house, wherever possible.
Outdoor sports are a great way to keep social and keep active, so long as social distancing is maintained. Consider bike rides and hikes where everyone keeps moving and can maintain their distance, and enjoy the countryside together. Most public health experts advise against sports that require sharing equipment, but sports such as golf, bowls, archery, and tennis can be enjoyed safely if everyone brings their own gear. Coaching can also take place for small groups for cricket and other team sports, so if you’ve always wanted to learn how to bowl a googly, this could be your chance!
Wherever you live and whatever you do, exposure to Covid-19 hold a higher risk for seniors, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions. Please review guidelines from your local health officials and talk to your doctor if you’re considering activities with people outside your household.
2. Make new online connections.
Do you Zoom or Skype or Facetime? Lockdown has given us an insight into the varied possibilities of video conferencing, from saying hi to the grandkids to participating in an online a yoga class. The new tech skills you learned while coping with lockdown open up a world of virtual options in retirement. You can now tap into the possibilities of ‘movie nights’ with friends all watching the same film in their own home, but with the chat flowing!
If you picked up a new interest from all the free tutorial and online classes on social media, you could pursue that subject with more formal online learning through the Open University or similar. Your local university or community college might have new online programmes, and some universities offer discounted enrolment to seniors on degree level courses. It’s all a bit up in the air on what will happen with university tuition come the start of the new academic year in September, but it could be your golden opportunity to study a subject that has fascinated you for years..
If you’re comfortable on a PC or savvy with a tablet you might actually have more part-time job or volunteer opportunities available to you right now. As more people do more business online, you might spot an ideal niche to plant your own flag and start your own dream company, all from the comfort of home.
3. Review your retirement plan
You do have a retirement plan, right? If not give us a call to arrange an online consultation to discuss your retirement dreams, goals and concerns.
All good retirement plans are created such that you and your wealth planner can make adjustments as your needs and goals evolve. Early retirement is a significant change to your finances, so you might need to
- Review your retirement budget and projected annual withdrawal rate.
- Consult a health care professional to make sure you and your spouse get the medical insurance coverage you need. If there’s one thing the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us, it’s how amazing the NHS is in a crises - and how longterm or chronic care is the first to suffer delays as a result.
- Consider if early retirement is going to change your living arrangements, and if you might want to move and take advantage of the reduced rate of Stamp Duty.
- You’ll also need need to review your estate planning documents and go over any potential changes with your wealth planning advisor and tax professionals.
Call Panthera Wealth and retire happy
Retirement is about enjoying life, and that includes being free from concerns about whether you can afford to do the things you want to do. At Panthera Wealth, we’re happy to talk to anyone approaching retirement about how you can plan to achieve the maximum of Return on Life. The work you’ve already put into following your plan and growing your nest egg means that you have more options in retirement. We’re excited to help you chart the best path forward and start the next chapter of your life.